Home > Uncategorized > Birds of a Feather Feedback: biologists

Birds of a Feather Feedback: biologists

While non-biologist met in a separate room, biologists gathered and shared these comments. Below are a series of quotes that capture the spirit of the discussion.

“When working with my partner, I recognize the more he learns about biology, the more questions he has.”

“Along the way, it is important to discuss the long term or big picture and to keep looking at it along the way so that you can see multiple places where each subject’s skills are needed.”

“For me, biology is more flexible, so when choosing a project topic, I feel comfortable letting my partner from the other discipline choose, that way they will see areas that they are eager to work on and it isn’t hard for me to find where the biology factors in.”

“It is very important to demonstrate an interest in the value of [your partner's] abilities so that math skills or chemistry does not become secondary. Both sets of skills are pertinent to your goals.”

“Constantly check with one another to see that your needs are being met.”

“Don’t try to convert your partner into a biologist. Play to their strengths and work to support their weaknesses.”

Although not directly related to biologist/non-biologist collaboration concerns, another noteworthy question was raised during the biologist breakout session: “If I am already engaged in other research, what amount of my efforts do you recommend I put into iGEM synthetic biology research?”

Workshop leader Todd Echdahl responded: “Each of the four of us workshop leaders had research we were involved in when we thought about the synthetic biology project and I did drop what else I was doing. But this is a new endeavour and I already had tenure so I was comfortable to transition but you do have to be careful when deciding what research you want to pursue.”

Dr. Campbell added “I wouldn’t recommend trying to juggle two balls at one time before tenure. Be cautious as you choose which one you want to do.”

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