A Tale of Two Lab Meetings

by on 30th of March, 2012 in Dealing with Fellow Scientists
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It’s common practice in many laboratories to hold weekly lab meetings, where all members of the lab discuss their exciting new results, experimental pitfalls, new papers published in their field, etc. For the last several years, our lab meetings have been very formal. By formal, I mean that whoever is presenting that day prepares a PowerPoint presentation, complete with background information, experimental results and concluding slides including future directions of research and planned experiments. But recently, we decided to take a more informal approach, where the person presenting just brings his/her lab notebook, western blot images, immunohistochemistry images, etc. and talks about the results in a more casual, conversational manner. Having experienced both types of lab meeting settings, I thought it would be beneficial to talk about the pros and cons of each type so that people can decide which type of PI-interrogation they prefer…the formal or the informal kind!

So, which lab meeting style best suits your lab or your personality?

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2 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Lab Meetings”

  1. Avatar of James Lloyd says:

    Interesting article. I prefer the more formal setting (I had the less formal sort on a 2 month rotation). I think the key is not to spend ages on background unless there are brand new people in the meeting like a new student. For one thing it makes you prepare good figures that are easy to slightly modify for a report, conference presentation/poster or even a paper. Also it helps when your lab is diverse like mine. We have flower developmental biologists, RNA decay biologists and co-repression researches and I am split between two of these three and work on a different model to the rest of the group so a bit of background helps me when they talk about flower development and them about alternative splicing.

  2. Avatar of mel mel says:

    I love the fact that you pointed them out. Our lab does both (yeah, it sucks we have at least two meetings a week) . We have the informal one in the morning and the formal one in the afternoon. It is good to have both kinds but the day is pretty much shot for any experimentation.

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