Let’s talk tough topics. By tough topics, I don’t mean how to remove the chorion from a zebrafish embryo without destroying your sample. I’m referring to topics like project sharing between senior postdocs and principal investigators, the proliferation of science hype, and other important issues for trainees entering a career in research.
Over the next two months, NICHD fellows will tackle tough topics by gathering perspectives, comments, and advice from investigators within our institute. We begin with the complicated issue of using postdoctoral research to establish a new, independent lab. Dr. Erin Walsh, postdoctoral fellow in the Woodgate lab, offers her thoughts on project sharing after meeting with Drs. Gisela Storz and Jon Lorsch. As with any tough topic, answers aren’t easy, but Dr. Walsh presents thought-provoking pros and cons to project sharing beyond the postdoc years.
In the ever-present race to publish first, how often, and to what extent, do you share unpublished data with researchers outside your lab? In science, getting “scooped” has nothing to do with ice cream. But does a fear of sharing data too soon slow scientific progress? Recently, several NICHD fellows had a unique opportunity to experience the type of pre-publication discussion that drives science forward. The 2017 International Workshop on Zebrafish Neural Circuits and Behavior provided a venue for researchers from around the world to learn from each other by discussing exciting data from their labs. As a volunteer for the zebrafish workshop, Dr. Ashwin Bhandiwad, postdoctoral fellow in the Burgess lab, gained access to this forward-thinking meeting. His recap of the event offers insight into the importance of pre-publication discussions among scientists. One benefit of “in-progress” dialogue that stood out to me was the opportunity to standardize terminology before going to print!
A topic that isn’t tough at all is finding opportunities for career development at the NIH. Check out this month’s “Rep Report” and February announcements and events for a variety of upcoming events and community outreach projects.
Your Editor in Chief,
Shana R. Spindler, PhD
Questions, comments, or ideas for the newsletter? Please email our editor at Shana.Spindler@gmail.com.