Can I stand this person for 6 hours?
Found this post over at Mad Hatter.
It's a nice post. The airport test makes a lot of sense and I only vaguely remember having heard of this before, so it was worth thinking about.
In some ways yes, being stuck somewhere for a few hours due to bad weather is a lot like science
...except it's not.
Here's why: on a layover, there's no WORK to do.
Seems to me that if you select for people based on the airport test alone, you're going to end up with people who can't/won't do their share of the work (see recent post by Mad Hatter on lab jobs).
Of course most people screen by CV and the absence of obvious scientific faux pas, and then assume that the candidate will be reasonably competent.
But from those two things, you actually don't know anything about the candidate's competence at all.
I've posted before about this, a lot, but one of my biggest beefs with science is that we don't select for the right things.
And when we get it, we piss on it. We kick these people out whenever we get the chance.
Going home early? efficiency = laziness
Requesting reagents or equipment? work ethic = impatience
Asking for feedback? communication = aggression
I have to wonder if it's always been like this. After all, modern science began as a hobby for rich white guys, didn't it?
But since some people seem to think science is just, you know, a fun layover where all you have to do is sit around and talk about cool ideas, it's not hard to understand how it got to be this way.
The real question is whether we can do anything to change it.