are bosses in biology generally mean?

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Re: are bosses in biology generally mean?

Postby relaxin » Aug 06 2010 8:43 am

It must be your bad luck. My Ph.D. mentor and two postdoc mentors were all nice to me. The only bad boss was the chairman of the department when I became an assistant professor. I, myself, am not a bad boss either. I did not relieve my frustration on my graduate students and postdocs. When my tenure was denied, I had a farewell party for everyone who had worked for me. So just for a sample of five bosses (myself included) in biology, only 20% are mean. You can get better statistics from surveying the faculty of your department. :)
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Re: are bosses in biology generally mean?

Postby relaxin » Aug 06 2010 4:04 pm

On the other hand, boss should not be too friendly with the subordinates. When I was an assistant professor, I was almost stepped over by graduate student and postdoc. One graduate went ahead and presented a poster in a meeting, even after I told him not to do so (because data were bad) or he would be subjected to disciplinary action. And another postdoc went back to Indida to get married, used up his vacation time and wanted to use his sick leave for an extended honeymoon. Finally I Fedex a letter to him saying that he could not use sick leave if he was not sick; and if he did not return to work by certain date, I would consider him no longer working in my lab. Was I mean? :roll: You be the judge.
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Re: are bosses in biology generally mean?

Postby sing09 » Aug 09 2010 8:32 pm

It must be your bad luck. My Ph.D. mentor and two postdoc mentors were all nice to me. The only bad boss was the chairman of the department


Or perhaps you are the lucky one. :) By the way you present yourself, I'd say you are quite reasonable. One has got to be firm when needed, but I think that people here are mostly talking about unreasonable, plain rude behavior by the boss.
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Re: are bosses in biology generally mean?

Postby relaxin » Aug 11 2010 8:16 am

I think professors are expected to behave, although I knew one case that two professors were ended up in court because of fist fighting and one technician was injured in trying to intervene. Boy, they got a good scolding from the judge. :D In general, there is less than 10% of the faculty who is really unreasonable and plain rude to students. I can recall only two professors from my career (thank God they were not my mentors). They make the students feel stupid when they cannot answer the students' questions. How many of you turn to this forum for help because of this reason?

Well, there is always a bad apple in every barrel.
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Re: are bosses in biology generally mean?

Postby relaxin » Dec 17 2014 9:41 pm

huezang wrote:I understand what you are saying but I think there should be more
comments regarding the threat that was initially started so that the pool of thoughts is attracted. Regards.

Going back to the original question, I can say that bosses in biology are not generally mean. My Ph.D. and postdoc mentors are very nice. I do not know anyone in other branch of science, such as physics and chemistry. So I cannot compare.
What is your experience, huesang?
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Re: are bosses in biology generally mean?

Postby mchlbrmn » Jan 13 2015 2:54 pm

I revisited this post, and saw my first post "bah, humbug" was misinterpreted.
I apologize to Research woman, if you see this, and anyone else offended. I did not mean to belittle or dispute her post at all. It was just intended to be a humorous quip of me pretending that everyone in science was mean hearted, so I replied that way, not realizing it might be taken literally. I forgot that written posts can be misinterpreted.
I've encountered many wonderful people in science. I have also seen challenging supervisors. I think that science tends to be more individualistic, with individuals or small groups doing projects. It is not like a large institution in which group organization is more important, and supervisors should have more training, or practice, in being professional. In science there are driven people who's work far exceeds normal effort and hours, and some bosses expect this of everyone under them. There own careers and progress are dependent on the production of their subordinates, and to make it worse sometimes no progress is made because for scientific reasons unrelated to skill, experience or effort.
There are also cultural differences in countries regarding hierarchy and "respect" due a supervisor.
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