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Episode 14 — Don’t Seek Results, Ask Questions

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About this episode

The discipline of science is all about discovery. But the business of science often has an agenda of its own. Grants (and those who fund them) often imply that a certain outcome is optimal. But your experiments have their own agendas. In this episode we will discuss the push and pull between “favourable” results and new knowledge.

Hosted by Dr. Nick Oswald featuring Kenneth Vogt of Vera Claritas.

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Intro/Outro (00:08):
This is The Happy Scientist podcast. Each episode is designed to make you more focused, more productive, and more satisfied in the lab. You can find us online at Your hosts are Kenneth Vogt, founder of the executive coaching firm, Vera Claritas, and Dr. Nick Oswald, PhD, bioscientist and founder of Bitesize Bio.

Nick Oswald (00:38):
Hello and welcome to The Happy Scientist podcast from Bitesize Bio. If you want to become a happier, healthier, and more productive scientist, you are in the right place. I’m Nick Oswald, the founder of Bitesize Bio and with me is the driving force of this podcast, Kenneth Vogt. I have worked with Ken for over seven years now with him as my business mentor and colleague and I knew that his expertise could help a lot of researchers and that’s how The Happy Scientist was born. So today, Ken and I will be talking about why you shouldn’t seek results in the lab, but instead ask questions. In episodes one to nine of this podcast, we talked about the foundational principles of human needs, core mindsets and charisma factors, which we’ll be referring to in this and all future episodes. So if you find this episode useful, please go back and listen to episodes one to nine, to get an understanding of these life changing concepts.

Nick Oswald (01:30):
So let’s bring in Ken, how are you doing today?

Kenneth Vogt (01:33):
Doing great, Nick. You know, this is a topic that I’ve, I’ve heard you speak about many times. I know it’s an area of passion for you, and I will give you all a little behind the scenes note about this. I asked Nick, you know, I don’t even want to do this. I’m thinking I should just interview you. Cause this is a topic that, you know, inside and out. And he said, Oh no, no, this is a conversation. There’s, there’s, there’s a lot to talk about both from the perspective inside the lab. And then also from the perspective of the idea of human needs and mindsets, charisma, and all the things that I’ve been talking about. But I wanna, I still wanna, I still want to interview Nick about this because this, this notion of don’t seek results, ask questions went against my kind of business nature.

Kenneth Vogt (02:26):
And I, I, I thought, well, wait a minute, how does that work? So I guess I’ll toss that to you. How does this work? How do you, how do you seek result, rather than seeking results, how do you ask questions instead?

Nick Oswald (02:38):
Well, so I’m talking about this from a personal perspective of, I realized one day that this was causing me a problem when I was in the lab and switched it around. And and it helped, definitely helped. And so what’s going on here as a scientist, as scientists, there’s a huge pressure to get results. And that comes from, you know, in modern, the way that modern day sciences is is evaluated and funded. So you have to publish papers to publish a paper, you need to have a story that has a set of results that stick together and say something, hopefully something groundbreaking and your public, your funding is dependent on the publications that you get and your career progression is depending on where you are. But that, that drive to create results.

Nick Oswald (03:31):
So we talk about in the lab all the time, you hear people saying, I need to get some results. You know, I need some results to get this paper finished. And it seems like a small slip of language, but that’s that generates the mindset that I, I was certainly stuck in and I’m sure that others were, and that is going to the bench to do an experiment, to get a result. But the fact is, if you’re standing at the bench, trying to get a result that you pre that you’ve predetermined, that will fit in with the story, then that is completely the opposite of the way that science is meant to work. You’re meant to, in science, you’re meant to ask a question and observe what happens and be disciplined about it, be dispassionate. And there are a number of side effects of that as I see it or as I experienced it anyway, one of those on a personal level, was it that created tremendous tension, the idea that I have to go and strive to get this result.

Nick Oswald (04:42):
So that suddenly my story made sense or, or whatever. That created, that created tension for me. And I found it much more freeing and relaxing to go into it with a mindset of, okay, my, my ask, my question is to ask whether this protein can be expressed from this plasmid, for example, and, you know, rather than I have to go make this thing express so that I can do the job, it can do the job that I want to do. My, my job is to ask whether under these conditions, that expression can happen and it seems like a subtle change, but it’s actually, for me, it was quite transformative because

Kenneth Vogt (05:26):
You know, it’s funny. I just had a flashback to something from, from a high school science class and, you know, and folks keep in mind, I’m not a biologist. You know, my background is computer science. So this was a simple little experiment that, that a teacher had us doing. And he had us go outside with a thermometer, stuck in into a styrofoam cup. And we were going to measure the temperature over asphalt and over sidewalk and over the grass. And the teacher had told us up front that he had the theory that the, that it was going to be warmer over the asphalt because the asphalt would be radiating heat that had been absorbed from the sun. And, you know, it was a cloudy day, but it was still, you know, it was still light out. That it ended up the one that was, that that was warmest was the concrete to which he then afterward, he said, okay, well, that’s surprising results, but perhaps it was sunlight reflecting off of the concrete cause the concrete was white versus the asphalt being black.

Kenneth Vogt (06:33):
And you know, my point of all, this is not like this is great science or anything, but I remember thinking that he wasn’t bothered that he got it wrong at the beginning that his, that he didn’t get the result he was looking for. And because to me it was mortifying. I was like, Oh no, I want, I need to get the result that I was looking for. So, and I mean, that’s on the simplest, that was on the simplest ninth grade level in, in an actual, you know, you’re in an actual lab doing actual science that has, has meaning in the world and then, then not get the result you’re after you talk about it, creating tension to not get a result you were seeking. How do you deal with that?

Nick Oswald (07:23):
It’s a, it is a difficult one. I mean first thing I would look at as well is, before we get into on how to deal with it, is just, what is the essence of science? If you look back at, you know, the kind of first people who are recognized as, you know, we’ve been doing sciences as humans for, you know, millennia, you know, invention of fire was presumably someone messing around with something and they, you know, something happened and they observed, and then they reproduced it. The people that we think of as kind of the pioneers of modern day science, and I’m, I’m no expert in this by any means, but it was it was people who did it as a hobby. They took pleasure. They took pleasure in trying stuff out, messing around with it and seeing what happened, observing that, and then putting those you know, making conclusions then building on those conclusions.

Nick Oswald (08:19):
And in a way, if you, what we’ve done by industrializing science is we’ve, we’ve taken that kind of that time and pleasure part away from it. Or at least that’s, that’s kind of the ultimate version of it and made it kind of, people into kind of battery scientists who have to produce. And so what we’re talking about here is, just step back and remember what this is all about and, and enjoy it. And ironically, you’ll probably get better. You’ll probably, you’ll probably do better than, than trying to squeeze results out. But yeah. So how to, how to approach this, so I think even just recognizing that this is the way you think if, if that, if this is the way you think it might not be, it may only be me for all I know. Okay. that the that the results focus, the focus on results is, is, is what you’re doing. You’re focusing on getting results rather than asking questions. And just think about that and, and think about it from first principles of how science works, as I said, and, and just let it sink in, is this, is this right. Is this the way that you want to do your job? Would it be better to do it in a, in a different way? Would it be better to switch around to, I’m not a professional results getter, I’m a professional questions asker. If you want to put it like that.

Kenneth Vogt (09:43):
Well, and yeah, it’s interesting. If we look at the recent history of science and I say, you know, the last, you know, 150 years, science didn’t really used to be a separate discipline. It was just, it was part of the repertoire of a Renaissance man, you know well, you know a well rounded human being was incidentally also a scientist and the notion of scientists as a profession is a pretty recent phenomenon. And it has created its own culture now, too. But yeah, something that, that you’ve talked about before, was the idea of curiosity and how, how deeply linked that is to science. And it is, it is somewhat unique to science. I mean, there are certainly other endeavors that people could do for a living where curiosity would matter, but it would be hard to name one where curiosity would be more important.

Nick Oswald (10:41):
Absolutely. Yeah. And I guess in a way, what we’re really talking about here is, is there a way in the modern scientific setup that, you know, to go back to and recapture that curiosity, you know, and inject and the craftsmanship in a way. I mean, there’s a lot of craft in science and it’s, you know, that’s just, that’s another access to look at this along. There’s a lot of craft in science, but it’s also possible to just go and bash out an experiment, you know? But there’s, there’s people who I know, I wasn’t one of them who, which is one of the reasons why I’m not in the lab anymore, who just, you could just see they had the green fingers, they had the craftsmanship and they just, they enjoyed that, but everyone can, everyone can move themselves along that access back from bashing out, you know, stressfully trying to bash out a result to to, to setting up an experiment well. And it doesn’t necessarily have to take longer to do the experiment to do that. It might take an, a small amount longer, but probably you will have less mistakes. And so that you so it takes you less time overall to do the work.

Kenneth Vogt (11:56):
Okay. So there we’re talking about one of the benefits here of having this, this outlook. If you’re creating a peer environment where, you know, just to get to find out whatever comes from this, it behooves you to have things well-constructed and, and well laid out and well-timed, and you know, to have all your ducks in a row or otherwise you’re getting messy results.

Nick Oswald (12:22):
Yeah. So or another way to look at it is if you, if you remove from yourself the responsibility to get the result and instead make your responsibility to just ask the question in a pristine and as rigorous a way as you possibly can and dispassionately observe the results, then suddenly your responsibility is not to get the result. Your result is to do your job to the greatest, you know, to do the craft of your job, to the greatest the greatest extent that you can, or the greatest level that you can.

Kenneth Vogt (12:58):
Now, we were talking about this, this off microphone, but I want to, I want to bring it up specifically now, because one of the things that concerned me about this is I could see exactly why your boss and the people that are funding this want to get a certain result. I can see the business angle of it. I understand why that would be the case and the hop, how compelling that would be. And yet, how are you as a scientist supposed to stand up against that and say, no, that’s not my job. My job is to, to stay loyal to the facts, to, to, to what the science produces. So how so the, the question then is then how do you, how are you able to take that stand and keep your job? So let me put that to you, but you were just hinting at the answer to that. So go ahead.

Nick Oswald (13:56):
I mean, for me, this is not a case of that, you know people are focused on results and so they are willfully generating things that are not that, you know, there are two, there are two possible outcomes, one, it’s a more stressful job to work in science, but then it could be contributing to you know, to results that aren’t accurate. You know, you know, that old thing where if you’re looking for a certain outcome, you’re more likely to get it. That’s where the, the need for scientific rigor comes from, for it to be dispassionate comes from. And so it could be that this is contributing to the reproducibility crisis, you know, this sort of pressure, but come back from it. It’s not that people are deliberately doing that. It’s not that the guy, you know, the, the, the PI who is, needs to get funding so needs to publish so needs a result is necessarily, necessarily squeezing someone in a direction that or pressuring someone to create a result that’s not true. It’s just that it takes some of the rigor of the process. And so it’s less, it’s less robust the scientific process when, when it’s under pressure like that.

Kenneth Vogt (15:05):
Right. But if you, as a scientist are really being a craftsman, I mean, if you’re really, really being disciplined about, I’m doing high quality work here, that’s a protection for you that, that leaves you, that leaves you a way of saying, I don’t care. I realized the, the, what we’d hope comes out here, but I can’t worry about that. I’m just doing it right. And when I do it right, what we get is what we get.

Nick Oswald (15:36):
Yeah. So to answer the question that you did, you asked before about you know, what, how do you, how do you operate in this way in an environment? How do you operate as a question asker in an environment where you’re required to be a results getter? Right. So I just wanted to qualify that by saying that I don’t think this the results getter mindset is, is deliberately trying to pressure people or make, you know, science go askew, but the movement between, you know, moving yourself from being a results getter, or someone who thinks of themselves as that, to being a question asker is a very subtle distinction. It’s not like you suddenly it’s not even like anyone would notice on the outside, apart from that, you might look more relaxed, but essentially we got back to that episode of where

Nick Oswald (16:30):
We talked about slowing down and essentially, we’re just applying that here. What you’re doing is you’re, you’re focusing more on the detail of what you’re doing rather than on where you on, on, where do you need to go with it. And, and again, that just in general, just produces better quality results. So what someone might observe is that this person takes slightly longer to do an experiment. They might even not because when you slow down, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it takes you longer to do things. If you’re doing them with more more precision. So what you might notice that this person’s a bit slower at doing the experiment, but that in general, that their work is higher quality. You know, someone who’s moved from this results, getting to questioning, to question asking, it’s just a mindset that you can hold for yourself personally. And then you can maybe infect other people with as you get, you know, if it’s something that you think is is worthy.

Kenneth Vogt (17:29):
Sure. I, I am thinking of the old adage that ‘There’s never time to do it right, but there’s always time to do it over’ and how stressful that is to live that way. And if you can have the reputation for being the person that does it, right. You you’ll, that’ll actually give you some freedom there. So when you go slow in a situation like that, they’re like, yeah, but Sally always gets it done. Right. And so it gives you room.

Nick Oswald (17:57):
I don’t even necessarily think Sally will take longer, even though she’s going slower. I just, just think of situations I’ve seen where people are, you know, the first thing that happens when you get a result that isn’t the one you want, or the one you were expecting is that you look back and for me, anyway, you look back in terror – did I make a mistake. Right. Right. And you see, you spend a lot of time doing that. And maybe a lot of time repeating things to make sure and so on. And of course that’s part of the process, but if you can be solid in what you did, then you know, in the, you can be solid that you, you did what it said in your notebook, for example, you didn’t rush through, you didn’t miss anything because you were being very diligent, very present about how the experiment was done.

Nick Oswald (18:51):
If you took time to properly set up with all the correct controls and everything, you didn’t just bash in and start doing it. It’s going to save you a lot of time in the long run. So I just, I, I just think that if I could go back to, you know, my, my 21 year old self landing in the lab, there’s lots of things I would say. And one of them would just be just slow down and just be pristine. And don’t, don’t be pulled into the drama of needing to get somewhere. That’s that, that sounds like you don’t care about that. Well, that’s a good way to bring in what you, you talk about about attachment detachment and non-attachment, it’s not that by saying, don’t be pulled into that drama that I’m saying, you don’t care about what results you get, that’s not what we’re talking about here, but it’s about not being attached to the results. So maybe you could speak about, about the distinction between those three things.

Kenneth Vogt (19:48):
Yeah. I mean, we’ve all heard of this notion of attachment and detachment and, and you hear, you hear the argument that being attached is bad and being detached is better. And I’m here to tell you that they’re both equally bad, because if you’re attached to something you’re going to try and bend reality to match it. If you’re detached from something you’re going to try to bend reality to match your notion of detachment, detachment is just, is just a, an attachment to not being attached. And and this shows up all over the place in our work but in our lives too. But I mean, so this is, this is applicable everywhere. This notion that, that you could be not just curious in the lab, but you could be curious as a human being and, and that could be a descriptor of what you are as a human.

Kenneth Vogt (20:52):
Wow. Imagine how that would impact your life. If you got to be curious everywhere. I think a lot of folks got into science because they wanted to be curious, but they weren’t allowed to be. And so they, they finally found a place where they were allowed to be curious and what a shame for you to lose that there, because now you have these attachments to certain outcomes and, you know, the, the notion of being attached, I mean, boy, I was almost thinking about this from a biological standpoint. I think about those, all those little simple protein things that hook up together like, wow, they really care about that attachment. And it becomes the only thing they can do. They can’t do anything else. That is the only thing they can do. You know? So if you can, if you can not have that now, all of a sudden, you’re now multipurpose.

Kenneth Vogt (21:44):
Now there’s much more that you can accomplish much more that you can see. And from the standpoint of discovery in science, this is extremely important. You need to be able to see things that aren’t what you expected. And if you have an attachment to certain outcomes, it will be very difficult for you to see something that doesn’t match the norm. You’re going to look at it and go, well, that’s just errors. Or that was a faulty experiment instead of going, well, wait a minute, something’s up here. There’s, there’s something to investigate in this. And that gives you that freedom. Now the same thing happens in reverse. If, if you are entirely detached where you just don’t care, you will then, then results roll in and you don’t even notice. It’s just like, yeah, whatever, you know, there are the numbers. I, you know, I collect the data and I pass it on to somebody else.

Kenneth Vogt (22:40):
And it’s not my problem anymore. Well, again, you may miss some really interesting and exciting things that happen as that goes by. So there’s a third way that I will call non-attachment. The idea of non-attachment is that you’re aware that you could be attached or detached about things, but you choose not to be. And it’s just, it’s a choice. It’s just like, I’m just going to, I am just going to be here and be the observer. I’m going to see what’s what, and I’m not going to have any preconceived notions about it. Now at first, as you first tried doing this, it’s harder than it looks. You will be shocked how many preconceived notions you have about all kinds of things in life. And I promise you do in the lab too. But once you start to see them, once you see it, you can let it go when you realize, wow, I always put my cream in before my sugar in my coffee.

Kenneth Vogt (23:41):
Why do I do that? And just, just being able to ask that question, you, you you’ll figure some things out. It’s like, Oh, because that’s the way my mom did it. Or because well, cream kind of stirs itself, but sugar doesn’t. And when I put it in there, I got to, you know, I want to pay attention, that I’m stirring it afterward. You know that at the, as the final step. Cause if I, if I only stir it when I put it in the cream, the sugar will all sit in the bottom of my cup. Or you don’t, or you will realize it was some silly reason that just doesn’t have anything to do with anything. And it’s like, you know, I do it that way cause I saw it that way once on a movie, you know, I’m like, okay, well gee, but just being able to take a step back and look and that’s that’s, that is how, if you want to, if you want to have this non-attachment approach, all you get to do is take a step back in any, anytime you’re doing anything, take a step back. And I think this ties in pretty well with this notion of, of going slow, because that’s one of the steps that might make it look like it’s slowing down, but it’s not really a slow. You’re not really slowing down. You’re just taking a moment to really get a good, clear picture of what’s in front of you. And that’s, that’s just never a bad thing. That’s, there’s always something to be gained by seeing things more clearly.

Nick Oswald (25:07):
Yeah. It’s just about getting in. There’s, it’s a continuum, isn’t it? Between attachment and detachment and somewhere in the middle there is the sweet spot where you, you care about what you’re doing, but you’re not trying to drive specifically for that.

Kenneth Vogt (25:25):
Well, I think of attachment and detachment being like on the X axis. So you got detachment all the way over on the negative end and you got attachment all the way over on the positive end, but it’s the Y axis that takes you to non-attachment. So, you know, and how far can you go? You can go a long long, long ways. You know, some people are just brilliantly non-attached and then other people are incidentally non-attached and other people they’re not attached about their detachments, but they’re attached about their attachments, you know? So yeah, it’s a grid. You could be all over the place on this thing, but there’s one thing that we can say for sure is the more you can approach non-attachment, the clearer, everything is going to look to you, the less stressed you’re going to be. And there’s, I mean, there’s so many advantages to this and there’s just really no downside.

Kenneth Vogt (26:20):
But the only thing that can happen that to the negative, if it is to the negative is some people would look at you and they won’t understand it. They’re like you should be attached to this. This is going to be the argument, or you should be detached. You know, that it’ll be a, a social pressure that you should, you should be down here suffering just like the, of us. Well, you don’t have to fall into that. And in fact, you can actually lead by example, then you can show them a surpassing way, a way that is easier and more, you know, where you can then be more of a craftsman. You can exhibit more curiosity. You can, you can be better at your job. And when you’re better at your job, it frees you then to not have to be the results guy. You get to be the question guy.

Nick Oswald (27:12):
Yeah. And I think that if you look around you in the lab, you see, there are people who are in this mode, whether this is, this is the way they would describe it or not, but it’s people who, who, who primarily see themselves as there to do the experiments than getting the result or whatever, but the ones who are just, you can just see they’re in the zone when they do their science. And there are other people who just flap, you know, on the other extreme who flap around just, you know, throwing stuff together. And you know it’s always, ah now I’m describing myself. It’s always last minute and it’s always, you know, this it’s you know, so it’s, there’s a continuum there of the, it’s probably good to look at the people that you admire in the lab of why do you admire that person? And I would guess, and for me it was the same. A lot of the people who I admire the most are the ones that are just rooted in the, in the, the, the purest definition of what being a scientist is, and it is all those things we’ve talked about, curiosity, technique, you know, technical absorbed in the technical side of it. And and there to ask questions, not and see what happens, observe what happens rather than make it happen.

Kenneth Vogt (28:33):
I guess, another, another way to look at that, that’s mastery, it’s not just somebody who can, you know, check the boxes and, you know, all, I did the 12 steps for the experiment, but there’s, there’s something to them that’s different. They have a flow, they have a different energy about them, a different presence in the lab. And, and we admire that in somebody. We see that and we go, they really get it. And, and we expect that they’re gonna, that they’re going to be more engaged than other people. We expect that, I know we’re talking about results here, but that they’re going to get broader results. They’re going to do more than just get the results of the experiment they’re going to, they’re going to, they’re going to discover things. It’s going to be a more about discovery than the finding of results. And discovery is an exciting thing. And it is most people in their, their careers, discovery’s not even on the table, it’s it? You know, when you’re in accounting, you know, no discovery is not happening much unless you’re discovering fraud and that’s no fun either. But in science you have this, you have this opportunity that you just don’t have in other fields. So I realize how, how much of a blessing that is for y’all

Nick Oswald (29:55):
Another way to look at this as well is with, without getting too tree hugging about it. But essentially, especially in like in biology, what you’re doing is you’re working with, in all sciences really, but I only have experience as a biologist. What you’re doing is you’re asking a question of nature, something that’s, you know, formed around, you know, you’ve been dropped into, you’re asking a question of that, and it’s, it’s really easy to superimpose your own answer on that. You know, what that, what, what your, the answer to that question would be, but it’s much more pristine and much more fulfilling to to listen to the answer and really give it space to tell you what it’s trying to tell you. And that’s getting a bit tree hugging, but it’s just, again, it’s just a subtle distinction in the mindset that you take into the work that you’re doing.

Kenneth Vogt (30:48):
Well, I don’t mind going a little tree hugging on you. So I’m going to say something that, from my perspective, from the outside, you’re, you, you’re not always working with living things. Sometimes you’re working with components of living things, but you’re often working with living things. That’s amazing. And do you realize what a privilege that is compared to a guy who, you know, has a sales job or a gal that has an accounting job or, or somebody that’s, that’s got a manufacturing job that you’re working with living things, and that’s, that’s, the opportunities there are amazing. And of course, it’s timing matters now, too. So the idea of you being precision in your craft becomes even more important. So, I mean, it’s not just about keeping, keeping your bacteria all alive, but it’s noticing that, Hey, there’s certain things that have to happen in the environment for me to accomplish what I want to accomplish.

Kenneth Vogt (31:49):
So I have to be on my game. I’ve got to be plugged in. I got to see all that. I can’t just be looking at the end goal here. I’ve got to be looking at what’s happening in the present here too. And being present in the moment in what you’re doing makes your life better. It’s far more satisfying, and it doesn’t matter what you’re present to. It doesn’t matter if you’re present to your precious, your precious little newborn, or you’re present to E. coli in a Petri dish. You know, it’s that presence is a very satisfying experience. And, and you have the opportunity to do that. And you get to, and the notion of asking questions, asking questions, will keep helping you be present. When you’re asking questions about what’s happening here, what’s happening here, what’s happening here? You’re, you’re telling yourself to be present to what’s happening in the moment. And that is, that is literally applicable, useful function right now. It’s not merely a feelgood function. It is something that is, that helps you get better work done.

Nick Oswald (33:01):
Yeah. And, and just to, just to loop this back into one of the fundamental things that we talked about that we talk about in episodes one to nine, go way back to episode one and the six human needs. What you’re talking about here is if you haven’t read that, listen to that episode, then please go back and listen to it. I think you’ll find it useful. What we talk about the you know, the basic human needs that drive behaviors and, and how you can, you know, if you’re having an issue that, that you can, you can see that one of these needs is missing and and do something about it. And what strikes me is that if you are in a, you know, personally or in a lab or in a, in a wider culture where the need for results is primary, then correct me if I’m wrong here, Ken, but that’s, that’s, that’s a kind of bottom of the wrong human need needing looking to be filled, fulfilled there of certainty. And it’s almost a fear based thing. It’s like, we need this, or there’s no survival. And so

Kenneth Vogt (34:11):
It is like you say, it’s the, it’s the least, the least powerful of your needs being satisfied. You gotta move it up the chain, so that there’s more. Cause that certainty will still be there. You know, there, there, there’s gonna, you’re, you’re still gonna, you’re still gonna to find things out that don’t rock the world, you know, so you don’t really have to worry about that. That’s going to kind of take care of itself.

Nick Oswald (34:38):
I mean, my, my kind of interpretation of that is that the movement from my job is to get results, to my job is to ask questions. As you can be certain that you can ask the question correctly, you have control over that. And and so then that fulfills the need for certainty.

Kenneth Vogt (35:01):
Sure. Well said,

Nick Oswald (35:02):
And then it, then it opens you up to moving up, you know, to moving in so that your, your science is not being done in that grasping need for certainty it’s you can move up to doing your science in one of the the for one of the higher needs fulfillment of the higher needs, which is something like significance or, or contribution or contribution and or growth love and connection, any of those actually. And so that, that itself will lead to you know, a better outlook on life and on your job, but almost certainly to better overall performance as well, because you’re working from a much more powerful place.

Kenneth Vogt (35:45):
Oh yeah, exactly. When your needs are met, then you, then you’re firing on all cylinders and you can do your best work.

Nick Oswald (35:52):
And so that might seem like complete gobbledygook to you. If it did go back and listen to episode one and then listen to this again. But I think that, that this is one of those good examples of how of spotting, where you’re, you’re working in a, you know, set to serve a lower level need. And, but then you can, you can substitute that out. You can, you can meet that need in another way and allow yourself to move up to operating in a, you know, for fulfilling higher needs.

Kenneth Vogt (36:24):
Right. And I, and by the way, I want to apologize to everyone for playing devil’s advocate here. You know, Nick has, has strenuously defended the scientific community in saying, look, we are not, we are not just a bunch of shills who have sold ourselves out only to get the results that somebody’s paying for. I know, I know you’re not, I know that you are the deeply curious, I know that you are committed to your craft and that you care very much about, about the quality of your work. And, and you’re doing work that is changing the world and changing lives of people. So keep doing what you’re doing. We appreciate it.

Nick Oswald (37:04):
Definitely. I think this would be a good place to wrap that up, but I mean, as much as people, you know, the scientific community is committed and does a great job. We are still human and we can improve. So that’s what this is all about is to try and again, not just this episode, but all of these podcasts are about trying to help a great body of people become, perform even better.

Kenneth Vogt (37:30):
Exactly. And to enjoy their lives while they’re doing it.

Nick Oswald (37:33):
Exactly. Yeah. Okay. I think we we can finish that up unless there’s anything else you want to cover on this, Ken?

Kenneth Vogt (37:41):
No, I think that that does it for this episode.

Nick Oswald (37:44):
Okay. So you can go to if you want to view, I don’t know if we have any show notes this time if there are, then you can find them And look for this one, which is episode 14, and look in the show notes section, and it will be right there if there are anything. Again, as I’ve mentioned during this you know, just a few minutes ago, if you haven’t done so already go back and listen to episodes one to nine, where we talk about these fundamental principles that, I highly recommend this for me, they’ve been transformational in helping to understand what’s going on for me and to, to improve. So episodes one to nine they’re right back there, ready and waiting for you. And then if you find this stuff interesting, you that that judging by what you’ve heard on this podcast, we can help you to become happier, healthier, and more successful scientists. Then please join us on the Facebook page for this podcast, which is, all one word, and in there will be, we’ll be approaching the topics that we discussed in this podcast. We’ll be approaching them from more granularly and from different angles so that it will help you to really implement this into you, this stuff into your day to day living and working. So I think with that, we’ll wrap up and secret goodbye, and we’ll see you on the next episode.

Kenneth Vogt (39:17):
Thanks everybody.

Nick Oswald (39:18):

Intro/Outro (39:24):
The Happy Scientist is brought to you by Bitesize Bio, your mentor in the lab. Bitesize Bio features, thousands of articles and webinars contributed by hundreds of PhD, scientists and scientific companies who freely offer their hard won wisdom and solutions to the Bitesize Bio community.

Hosted by Dr. Nick Oswald featuring Kenneth Vogt of Vera Claritas.

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