Welcome to Labmosphere, a social experiment and resource in the making. We are currently a small team of graduate students in the academic sciences who also have a wide array of interests in psychology, mindfulness, organizational behavior, and human wellbeing and happiness. We care about our fellow man (one of the many reasons we joined scientific exploration) and dislike seeing some of our best and brightest going through difficult and stressful times.
We’ve unfortunately observed plenty of disappointment, cynicism, and sadness in the field of academic science, as well as many of the smartest scientists in their respective fields leaving for alternative careers (which isn’t a bad thing necessarily!) because they felt like they had no other choice. This is not specific to one lab or one institute, but spans the entire enterprise, at all levels. That’s not to say it’s all bad, and in fact, we find most people we talk to (even those who are at their lowest), cling to those distant memories when everything about their work excited them and life in the lab seemed like a dream come true.
A few, if not all, of the issues we’ve talked about with friends, mentors, PIs, and counselors, have solutions at the individual or population level. They require shifts in culture however, and because that is based on perception and language, we hope to promote discussions on here that we’re sure are already occurring in universities around the world. We also hope that these discussions will lead to real-life, practical solutions to the issues we face on a daily basis as well as those of a more chronic nature. We believe in community, and the power of dialogue and discussion. So we have created this website for you, and welcome any suggestions and participation in its development phase.
Like the good scientists that we are, we have done our reading and discussing and noticed common threads of thoughts and ideas in those we interact with daily. We believe the time is right for many of the cultural and paradigm shifts that the scientific enterprise must go through for it to become sustainable through and beyond the twenty-first century.
But we are neither web designers nor social scientists and are also working on our own grad theses at the moment. So while we get our bearings around the world of website design and blogging, we ask for your patience and suggestions to make this site as good as it can get. Most of the original blogs will be shared with and seen by people close to us in the scientific community. If you’re going through the archives at some point in the distant future and happen to stumble upon this, we can only hope the website you’re interacting with has improved significantly from its humble beginnings.
We already have a few ideas for the general layout of the website and the way we’ll allow people to interact with each other on here. The idea is to build an e-community that begins accumulating momentum and force to give us leverage for promoting change at the higher levels. We also have a few posts in the making and are discussing new ones with every new article we read or conversation we have. But at the end of the day, this is your website, and we want you to get involved, either through suggestions and discussions or by joining our team, whether you’re a department head, undergrad, or anyone in between.
So welcome to Labmosphere, where we explore ways to bring about healthier and happier lab atmospheres.
Yours in exploration,
The Labmosphere Team