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【置顶】 转:蒲慕明院士给组内博士生的一封信


lab members:

Over the past several months, it has become clear to me that if there is no drastic change in the lab, Poo lab will soon cease to be a productive, first-rate lab that you chose to join in the first place. Lab progress reports over the past six months have clearly shown the lack of progress in most projects. One year ago, when we first moved to Berkeley, I expressed clearly to everyone my expectation from each one in the lab. The most important thing is what I consider to be sufficient amount of time and effort in the lab work. I mentioned that about 60 hr working time per week is what I consider the minimal time an average successful young scientist in these days has to put into the lab work. There may be a few rare lucky fellows like Florian, who had two Nature papers in his sleeve already, can enjoy life for a while and still get a job offer from Harvard. no one else in the lab has Florian’s luxury to play around.Thus I am imposing strict rules in the lab from now on:

  1. Every one works at least 50 hr a week in the lab (e.g., 8+ hr a day, six days a week). This is by far lower than what I am doing every day and throughout most of my career. You may be smarter or do not want to be ssuccessful, but I am not asking you to match my time in the lab.

  2. By working, I mean real bench work. This does not include surfing on the computer and sending and receiving e-mails for non-scientific matters unrelated to your work (you can do this after work in the lab or at home, and excessive chatting on nonscientific matters. No long lunch break except special occasions. I suggest that everyone puts in at least 6 hr concentrated bench work and 2+ hr reading and other research-related activity each day. Reading papers and books should be done mostly after work. More time can be spent on reading, literature search and writing during working hours when you are ready for writing a paper.

  3. I must be informed in person by e-mail (even in my absence from the lab) when you are absent from the lab for a whole day or more. Inform me early your vacation plan. Taking more than 20 working days out of one year is the maximum to me. In fact, none of you are reporting any vacation and sick leave on your time sheet (against the university rule, although I have been signing the sheets) , but you know roughly how many days you were not here.

On the whole, I understand and accept the fact that you may not fulfill the above requirements all the time, due to health reasons, occasional personal business. But if you do not like to follow the rules because it is simply a matter of choice of life style, I respect your choice but suggest you start making plans immediately and leave the lab by the end of January 31. I will do my best to help you to locate a lab to transfer or to find a job.

If you do accept the conditions I describe above, I am happy to continue to provide my best support to your work, hopefully more than I have done in the past.I will review the progress of everyone in the lab by the end of June of 2002. I expect everyone to have made sufficient progress in the research so that a good paper is in sight (at least to the level of J.Neuroscience. If you cannot meet this goal at that time, I will have to ask you to prepare to leave my lab by the end of August.





1 每个人每周必须花50个小时在实验室,(比如每天8小时,每周6天)。我现在以及我职业生涯的绝大部分时候,都不止这个数。当然了,你可能比我更聪明,或者你压根不想成为一个成功的科学家。但是,我并没有要求你工作时长和我一样。

2 当我说“工作”的时候,我的意思是真正的在试验台上的工作,而不是上网闲逛或者收发和科学工作不相干的邮件(你可以在下班时间干这些),以及过多的和科研无关的闲聊。除了特殊情况,午餐时间请不要太长。我强烈建议,每个人每天用6个小时做实验,2个小时在阅读相关文献。论文和课本的研读都应该放在8小时外,当然了,当你开始写论文的时候,你可以多花一些时间来搜索并阅读文献。

3 我想我已经给每个人都发过邮件了,当你不在实验室的时候,请向我报告,请提早通知我你的休假计划。每年最多20天是我能接受的最大极限。实际上,到目前为止,没有一个人报告过他的休假或者病假(这是违反学校规定的),但是你们自己清楚,今年你们已经用了多少假期了。


如果你接受这些规定,我将很高兴的为你提供最好的学术知道,希望比以往更好。我将在2002年7月之前考察每个人的工作。我希望每个人都能做出足够的进展,从而可以在近期发表论文(至少J Neuroscience这个级别的)。如果到时候考察不合格,我将不得不让你在8月底前离开实验室。


ps. 最近又看到哥伦比亚大学应用物理学教授赫曼(Irving P. Herman)通过自己指导研究生的经历,针对研究生遇到的问题和困惑,从导师的角度对研究生如何顺利完成学位论文,提出了20条劝告,这被称为研究生从事学术研究的赫曼法则(The Laws of Herman):

The Laws of Herman

1. Your vacation begins after you defend your thesis.

2. In research, what matters is what is right, and not who is right.

3. In research and other matters, your adviser is always right, most of the time.

4. Act asif your adviser is always right, almost all the time.

5. If you think you are right and you are able to convince your adviser, your adviser will be very happy.

6. Your productivity varies as (effective productive time spent per day)1,000.

7. Your productivity also varies as 1/(your delay in analysing acquired data)1,000.

8. Take data today as if you know that your equipment will break tomorrow.

9. If youwould be unhappy to lose your data, make a permanent back-up copy of them within five minutes of acquiring them.

10. Your adviser expects your productivity to be low initially and then to be above threshold after a year or so.

11. You must become a bigger expert in your thesis area than your adviser.

12. When you cooperate, your adviser's blood pressure will go down a bit.

13. When you don't cooperate, your adviser's blood pressure either goes up a bit or it goes down to zero.

14. Usually, only when you can publish your results are they good enough to be partof your thesis.

15. The higher the quality, first, and quantity, second, of your publishable work, the better your thesis.

16. Remember, it's your thesis. You (!) need to do it.

17. Your adviser wants you to become famous, so that he/she can finally become famous.

18. Your adviser wants to write the best letter of recommendation for you that ispossible.

19. Whatever is best for you is best for your adviser.

20. Whatever is best for your adviser is best for you.