Peter Lawrence and Michael Locke wrote an essay that made an enormous impression on me ("A Man for Our Season", Nature, 1997). For a long time a copy hung on the wall of the lab. I was reminded of it last week when I read a recent interview with Lawrence ("The Heart of Research is Sick", Lab Times, 2011).
When it's hard to reach me because I'm busy with my own research work; when I have to decline to travel to give seminars; when postdocs in my lab publish their own independent work without my name on their papers; when our papers go to open-access journals that do a good job of delivering substantive content regardless of that journal's supposed "impact"; when I spend time on the details of a constructive peer review; when I help HHMI recruit and mentor younger scientists -- and indeed when I moved to Janelia Farm, to be part of the idealistic culture that we want to build here -- it's principles much like Peter Lawrence's that I'm aspiring to.
Real lives and white lies in the funding of scientific research
PLoS Biology, 2009
The mismeasurement of science
Current Biology, 2007
Men, women, and ghosts in science
PLoS Biology, 2006
The politics of publication
Science or alchemy?
Nature Reviews Genetics, 2001
A man for our season