My biweekly, half-hour progress update meetings have been running for about a year now, and are proving their usefulness yet again as I work towards Friday’s progress report deadline.The cast is never the same for two performances in a row; some people attend every time, others show their face every six months, and the rest of the team fill the entire spectrum in between. This has allowed me to notice a couple of correlations:

Yeah. Short, snappy updates do not mix well with the professorial tendency to focus on the ins and outs of one sub-sub-project for an hour at a time… 

Don’t get me wrong, the focusing is extremely useful – especially for the person running the actual experiments, but also for me, as evidenced by the reams of notes I take in these sessions. I just need to be more assertive about asking people to take their detailed discussions off-line! 

Either that or bring glazed doughnuts to counter the various pairs of glazed eyes around the table…

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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7 Responses to Derailed

  1. Gerty-Z says:

    Imagine the pain of a faculty meeting with 20 PIs!!

  2. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Heh, I'm trying not to :)But maybe there's less chance of mentions of new findings at faculty meetings. That tends to be what sets them off!

  3. Ricardipus says:

    I think you should schedule two more sets of similar meetings, so that you can have triplicate data points in your graph.*runs like the wind

  4. microbiologist xx says:

    We have a weekly group meeting that four PIs attend. Sometimes I get the feeling that if one person weren't standing in front with a laser pointer, that we would never get the hell out of there.

  5. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Ricardipus, well, I think we should make this a multi-site study! There's got to be a suitable grant competition out there we could apply for.MXX, yeah, I've been to a few lab meetings like that too! The kind where the people who've booked the room after you start just walking in and glaring at you when you go 10 minutes over…

  6. Bob O'H says:

    You should tag-team with someone else: one week they go first, and your meeting starts an hour later, the other week you go first. I'm sure you can work out a good excuse for this arrangement.

  7. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Now that is an excellent idea.

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