Thursday, September 11, 2008

Should I stay or should I go?

So we've been doing the "Should I stay or should I go" dance for the last week due to hurricane Ike. This hurricane season stuff is hard on us transplanted New Englanders! Give me a white-out, Nor' Easterner blizzard any day. I know what to do. With these hurricanes, by the time you have the best info, it's almost too late to go. SciDad found this great website, for tracking the hurricane, forecast models, wind probabilities, etc. It's sort of addicting and I've had it open on my computer for the last 5 days. We're not under any mandatory evacuation but we're expected to get 100 mph winds. I've never been in those conditions before. In the 3.5 years we've been here, all the hurricanes that were predicted to hit us before have managed to veer off and miss us. I think for this one, we're hunkering down. We expect to lose power, which when it's in the 90's and humid, willl probably be a miserable experience, especially for the kids. But we've got our supplies so we'll see what happens. SciDad cut some branches away from the lines that go to our house yesterday. Being from Europe, he can't figure out why we don't bury powerlines here.....can't say as I understand that either. I think I'm going to use this hurricane stuff as leverage to get back East some day (do you hear that SciDad?)

On a side note, I went to the ice rink yesterday and got back on the ice. After the last year, this is something I really want to do for myself. It took about 30 minutes before I had my feet underneath me again and the legs were like jello, but it felt good, like "going home". I mostly tried to remind myself of all the dance steps and patterns but it was like visiting a long lost friend. I'm going to try to do that every week. I deserve it.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

What's up Doc?

As part of my new life as a biotechie, I support, through seminars and customer meetings, life science instrumentation for different types of genomic analyses. This can be a fun experience because it gives me the opportunity to "talk science" with a variety of investigators researching a broad range of scientific questions. But it can also be extremely frustrating. In my years in academics and now with said Biotech company, I find many scientists too willing to stick with the "standard" when new approaches could clearly be better than what is accepted now. And if they have tried an approach themselves and have been unsuccessful, they are often not willing to accept that it can or does work.

I wonder where this slow adaptation of new approaches comes from. Is it based on what is thought to be suitable for obtaining funding? Is it that people in general are adverse to change or the unknown? Fortunately for me, I live with SciDad, who is an early adopter. He sees a new technology, looks into the near future and can see that it will or won't move his research forward. He is not afraid to test the new and if successful, is quick to incorporate it into his standard research program.
I'd be interested in knowing what other scientists feel are the impediments to adopting new technologies.