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November 16, 2008

PostDocs in some labs can be so horrible?

PostDocs in research labs face pierce competition because a colleague or a graduate student is working along the same problem or area in which the laboratory chief wants to get pappers published as soon as possible, if he can't publish a paper, he is not going to get a funding or a renewal fo NIH funding. Competition is via two routes, the boss creates an atmosphere so that someone can get him/her the best results or a data that can quickly generate a paper for him and the postdoc, sometime to all the members of the lab. Though ethically wrong to put names of the member of lab or outside who did not adequately contributed to a publication, it does happen and it is quite widespread, just to please a colleague, a friend or a possible grant reviewing senior member of scientific community, scientists do put their name. It all happens in a smooth and sweet manner, not a big deal ah?. No, things go wrong and such publication conspiracy's come out in the limelight, we have seen them time and again in many labs.

But, other route of competition is between a postdoc to postdoc, because they wanted to get some good papers to get a faculty job, at times, there is this unexplainable and bizare competition that graduate students pose to the postdocs, some graduate students who get so close to the boss (lab chief) just think that they are almost the boss of the lab, their activity can go farther as far as to sabotage and chase the postdoc out of labs, because lab chief's are morons in those cases, especially if there is some favoritism goes on due to gender or other factors, it can get so nasty.

Those two routes of competition add fuels to the other pathetic conditions in the research labs like long hours of working, difficulties in getting good results, insufficient data to get a paper published and inadequate pay, no or poor benefits package and blind job prospects?. These factors plus others lead them to pierce competition making some of the postdocs and graduates go mindless in sabotaging experiments, stealing, simply backstabing by telling the bosses lie about colleagues so and so forth, there is so much nasty behaviors goes on within the research labs.
Postdoc's competition is one thing to deal within the lab, the other bizzare competition is the graduate studnet who is aspiring to finish a PhD competes with PostDocs (which is actually a none-sense) but it is true, graduates students get too close to the PIs, they will stoop to any levels to do anything to manipulate laboraroty activities, I have seen this in many labs. The lab chiefs are morons, mindless in listening to such craps will screw up one or the other postdocs life or in some cases graudate students life because their favorite lab member spoken to the boss?.
Oh...it is a nasty place, while funding and competition to get NIH support to run the lab can make the lab chief's go nuts, in the middle of his/her own survival drama, the lab members drama can heat up so much that it will literally melt relations, links, credentials, jobs and careers........but I never heard it will even take lives (we must have heard some suicidal cases or attempted to end life in some extreme lab conditions, but the following is not only weired, it is absurd and behavior, it is just barbaric to the core, what kind of scientist is this person puts poison in drinking water of a collegue?
November 12, 2008

Serious Postdoc Weirdness

There's no denying that life as a postdoc can be stressful. The pay is relatively low, the hours are long, the long-term prospects often aren't great, and sometimes bosses--and colleagues--can be real jerks.

But the events described in this story, from a staff writer at the San Francisco Chronicle (Hat tip: The Chronicle of Higher Education News Blog) are just too weird.

A postdoctoral researcher in the UCSF urology department has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly admitting that he twice tried to poison a colleague by putting laboratory chemicals in her drinking water, authorities said Tuesday.

The chemicals used by Benchun Liu, 38--a "buffering solution used to control acid"--discolored the water. The disoloration was noticed by the alleged victim, Mei Cao, who drank the water anyway. The accused then confessed to the victim that he had tried to kill her, and was arrested Monday. He is being held in the county jail without bail. Liu told police that he had been "stressed out."

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