Lab family feud

Science magazine (Nov 26, 2010) recently published a letter from Prof. Chamovitz of Tel Aviv University. He described how “the social fabric” in his lab during a recent year-long sabbatical “had deteriorated to a point where squabbling, backstabbing, and even screaming were common.” Help was eventually obtained from an unlikely source: a trained family therapist.

The therapist talked to everyone in the lab and then gave her diagnosis, “we were a dysfunctional family, complete with rebellious adolescents (senior students), impressionable children (junior students),and impotent parents (technicians and the principal investigator).” The good news? Some forced group therapy sessions for the lab workers produced results. “The students and technicians relearned how to live and work together, the new students in the lab weren’t exposed to continued tension, and I [Chamovitz] regained control of the lab.”

Who says science isn’t a human activity?

This entry was posted in Reading - light. Bookmark the permalink.