Clean Labs Make Good Research

While digging through flash drives, I found my master’s degree presentation.  In it, I included this quote from my undergrad thesis supervisor, who was a notorious bull in the glass labware shop.  Enjoy:

“Working safely is not just something you do in addition to your research to keep the administration off your back; safe research is reproducible, high quality research.  It is a mark of professionalism.  When you walk into a lab that looks like Frankenstein’s, the quality of the research is likely to be, and certainly will be perceived to be, as erratic and irreproducible as a mad scientist’s.  It’s a damn good thing journals don’t inspect labs before accepting our publications.”  – Dr. Alfred Hochstaedter, UCSC 1997

Never have truer words been spoken.  A disordered lab sure as shit is not the sign of an orderly mind.  I tend to repeat his words to the grad students of problem child professors in hopes of breaking the chain.  At least a few people have gotten the religion.

That said, I do very much like the look of Frankenstein’s lab, but reproducibility, that function is far more important than any form.