During our last annual Yuan lab retreat (November 2018) we discussed the good the bad and the ugly of social media and how we, as a research team as well as individual scientists, should engage this immense digital space. The conclusion was both unanimous and somewhat unexpected. I had thought, despite my reluctance to enter the hamster wheel that is twitter, that my lab would push for a twitter centric strategy (the most common social media platform for scientists). As it turns out, my team of millennials were much more thoughtful than I. They favoured creating content rather than pushing content around, arguing that if we, a young lab with a slim portfolio of publications are to be heard, we need to provide added value. We need to have something to say.
They wanted to engage the society at large to disseminate our research findings. They wanted reflect on science as a profession to connect with fellow scientists at different stages in their careers. They wanted to practice the art of writing. They wanted to promote their projects to colleagues in the field and potential future employers and grant reviewers. How did I luck out with such an inspiring team?
The momentum was palpable. I was beyond thrilled. My team members are seriously enthusiastic about their work and have stuff to say! This gave me tremendous energy. Still, there was, I’ll admit, a moment of doubt. As a group leader and mother of a 1.5-year-old, my current reality juggles work, unreliable toddler sleep and my own sanity. Between endless paper and grant writing, when would I find the time to write blog posts? Is that even a rational use of my time? And then it hit me, that making time for the tasks that fuel my energy and passion for work is always a wise time investment. For me, its what makes work so much more than just a job.
WordPress here we come.