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Working in the Lab vs. Working in the Office - 30 day blogging challenge (Day 23)

The Laboratory vs The Office. The comparison.

Woking in the office a.k.a Science Communication / Publishing:

There comes a point in which every scientist has had enough of the lab and they no longer want to work in the laboratory, no matter what field they're in. So they go out and look into other careers that they can go into that doesn't involve lab work (see this post by Nature).

Some scientists turn to science writing. Science communication is a great way to stick to your field and communicate science to the people with / without science background/education.

A comment / quote in a post in Nature: Soapbox Science, perfectly describes why we need science communication:
“It deals with an issue that is important not only, or even mainly, for the scientific community but also for the nation as a whole and for each individual within it. More than ever, people need some understanding of science, whether they are involved in decision-making at a national or local level, in managing industrial companies, in skilled or semi-skilled employment, in voting as private citizens or in making a wide range of personal decisions. In publishing this report the Council hopes that it will highlight this need for an overall awareness of the nature of science and, more particularly, of the way that science and technology pervade modern life, and that it will generate both debate and decisions on how best they can be fostered. 

Working in the laboratory:

The lab is the heart of science. It's where great discoveries have been made (such as the discovery of penicillin- even if it was an accident) and health breakthroughs have been made.

A poll on "I'm a scientist get me out of here!" asks people working in the lab of their opinions, here's one I particularly liked:

"I enjoy working in a lab. I find the things I’m researching interesting, so reading about it and thinking about it is fun – particularly as I get paid to think about things I find interesting. A lot of lab work is trying to work out what went wrong; it’s a lot of problem-solving. Experiments don’t work quite often and I have to try to find out why they haven’t worked, so I try to change what I’m doing slightly and try again. I find that kind of problem-solving quite satisfying, like a sudoku or something!.........."


Do you prefer to work in a lab or behind the desk? Comment below.