Sometimes it’s important to be reminded of things. Sometimes it’s most important to be reminded of things you already knew.
I actually dragged my sorry rump out of lab this afternoon to go to my program’s journal club. The paper being discussed was interesting (in principle), and it was from a lab where I’m interesting in doing a post doc. I also thought it was a good opportunity to work on my goal of being even a teensy bit more social.
At any rate, I was pretty excited about the paper. Actually sitting down and going through it though served to remind me that just because a group has a great reputation and just because the paper is in C/N/S doesn’t mean that the work is good. It doesn’t mean that the results are real or interesting or that the experiments were designed well or that the paper was even put together thoughtfully.
Actually making myself go to journal club reminded me of all that. It reminded me that given the right circumstances there’s a broad range of people that can publish in top tier journals. It also reminded me that publishing those types of paper or hailing from a lab with good name recognition and reputation doesn’t necessarily make you a great scientist.
Of course, I’ve known those things for a long time now, but sometimes it is good to be reminded.
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