Balancing Lab And Life: Could Science Ever Be 9-To-5?

It's 8 P.M. on a Sunday and you've just loaded your samples onto a gel and switched on the power. You have an hour to kill, so you settle down to search the Web for sangria recipes for next week's departmental wing-ding. Is this (a) an efficient use of time or (b) a sad way to spend a weekend? If you chose (a), you might benefit from some time-management tips from scientists who've learned how to squeeze the most out of their work weeks. Sure, science takes time. "It's like a sponge," acknowled

Karen Hopkin
Mar 15, 1998

It's 8 P.M. on a Sunday and you've just loaded your samples onto a gel and switched on the power. You have an hour to kill, so you settle down to search the Web for sangria recipes for next week's departmental wing-ding. Is this (a) an efficient use of time or (b) a sad way to spend a weekend? If you chose (a), you might benefit from some time-management tips from scientists who've learned how to squeeze the most out of their work weeks.

Sure, science takes time. "It's like a sponge," acknowledges John Reed, scientific director and head of a 30-person lab at the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, Calif. "It'll consume as much time as you'll give to it." But that doesn't mean that dedicated scientists have to live in the lab. Some successful researchers have found that with a bit of organization, they can harvest great data...

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