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Lab Culture 6

Lab Culture

In case you can't tell, this is a pretty relaxed place. I don't even know how to be a taskmaster. Our goal is to build a supportive, collaborative, human working environment. I am firmly convinced that we can do great philosophy of science, win all kinds of grants, and send all of you on to fantastic jobs without causing anyone to stay awake for a week straight or need medical leave for burnout.

To that end, some principles of the kind of lab I'd like us to be:

1. Sociable

We're academics – we like talking about our work with others. The biggest advantage you have in coming to work in a group like ours is that you're not alone. You'll have better ideas, with better arguments, in better contexts, if you have people to work with and bounce those ideas off of.

So be sociable! Chat about your new paper ideas with others, head out for coffee or drinks with the group, come along to seminars and think outside the box, etc. It will help your work, even more than taking two more hours to furiously type in your office.

2. Cooperative

I'm a firm believer in the power and quality of coauthored, collaborative, cooperative work. I firmly believe that contemporary philosophy of science should drive us toward broader team-based work, and try to encourage this in our group.

3. Nimble

Probably more as a result of my own proclivities than anything else, the lab will often find itself working on a wide variety of projects at the same time. We thus strongly encourage people to be quick on their feet, able to switch back and forth between a number of tasks at once. And we're doing our best to build the lab's tool and communication infrastructures to enable that sort of work.