Friday, March 27, 2009

Take a notebook to seminars! You are not James Watson!

Quite a few graduate students don't bring a notebook to seminars or group meeting and just listen. Are they just putting in time?
I always take some notes, partly to help me concentrate and stay engaged. As I struggle to follow along or see the point, I try to write down a key idea, claim, or question that the speaker or topic is raising. This helps me get something out of the talk. I hope to do some of this in future blogs. Students not taking notes, reminded me of a story from the Double Helix, by James Watson. Crick got quite upset at Watson because he went to a seminar by Rosalind Franklin, but could not remember a crucial detail because he did not take notes. Nevertheless, they still worked out the structure of DNA!

No comments:

Post a Comment