Is There Room for Non-Science Books in the Lab?
By Dora Farkas on August 10th, 2012
I’m an avid reader of both science and non-science-related books. Does it look bad to have non-science books out on my desk? I know it’s my personal space, but I don’t want my PI to get the wrong impression.
-RM, grad student
It is great that you have a wide range of interest in books, and you are probably not the only one in your group who likes to read non-science books. While you can impress others by being well-read, I would not recommend leaving the non-science books out on your desk even if they high quality reading material (e.g. historical non-fiction). Your PI could have a positive reaction “Wow, that’s a great book, I should read it too!” or he/she could assume that you must not be working enough. Without knowing your PI’s personality, I would err on the side of caution. If you really want to impress others, you can always bring up something cool you learned from your reading during a casual conversation or a group lunch.
Dora Farkas, Ph.D. is the author “The Smart Way to Your Ph.D.:200 Secrets from 100 Graduates,” and the founder of PhDNet, an online community for graduate students and PhDs. You will find links to her book, monthly newsletters, and discussion board on her site. Send your questions to DearDora@benchfly.com and keep an eye out for them in an upcoming issue!
Stay tuned for the next Dear Dora in two weeks! In the meantime, check a few of Dora’s recent posts:
- Managing Publication Jealousy in the Lab
- Debriefing the Lab After a Scientific Conference
- Music in the Lab: MyTunes, iTunes, or No Tunes?
- Cell Culture Derailing Your Vacation Plans?
- Is a Publication Gap on Our CV a Job Killer?
- How to Leave a Postdoc Quickly with Your Reputation Intact
- How to Establish and Enforce the Chain of Command in Lab
- Walking the Thin Line Between a Great Result and a Lie
- Dear Boss: I Want to Graduate. Let’s Talk.
- My Boss’ Spouse: A Spy or Civilian in Lab?
- Bullying in the Lab: Are PIs Guilty
- What Came First: The Grad Student or the PI?
Submit your questions to Dora at DearDora@benchfly.com, or use the comment box below!