Just how curious are researchers? The curiosity of scientists tends to be assumed, almost a cliché. However, perhaps I’m in the wrong position, because as a general rule, I don’t see it. This could be a consequence of my job, which is to introduce, and ultimately sell, new technologies to scientists. You might imagine that new, cool technologies for researchers (and yes, I have several) might be interesting to professionals for whom curiosity is a “given.” However, apart from a small minority, a lack of interest is what I see as a default. Not quite sure what the reason is, but I’ll take a guess:
- Salespeople, even ones with Ph.D.’s are lying/bullshitters.
- Salespeople are more interested in selling what they’ve got than in genuinely helping me.
- If I want to get something new, I’ll find it on Google, or ask someone else (“knowledgeable postdoc”) in the lab.
To which I say:
- Yes, some of them are. But you’re a grown-up, with the resource to get opinions and information from multiple sources. Also:
- Yes, sometimes, but this is simply not true for the vast majority of salespeople I’ve worked with in the life science tools business, most of whom are passionate about technology. Yes, many of
themus are very “into” the products, so we’re not unbiased. But again, that’s just part of life and you’re expected to navigate it.
- The internet is great, so long as you know what you’re looking for. However, in an area as fast-moving and cutting edge as life science tools, techniques and tools advance quicker than that. Plus, unless the person in your lab is a technology geek, they probably know less than you do, unless they are using the LabWish app.
All this takes me to the point of the article. Which is this: if you are a scientist, you need to get out more and interact with the people from from the organizations that develop the tools you use in the lab. This will mean you need to talk to a stranger, who might well have some of the negative qualities list above, but honestly, that’s the game you’re in.
It just so happens that there is a great opportunity to interact with life science tools providers at the upcoming exhibition in Copenhagen, CPH LabMed. Treat yourself to a day out and learn something.