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.

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