A Nature survey of 3,200 scientists reveals the tensions bubbling in research groups around the world.
How to grow a healthy lab
A healthy research environment is fundamental to good science. But it is an aspect that is rarely discussed. That’s partly because a lab’s ‘health’ is complex and difficult to assess — it is the product of a whole host of factors, such as inclusivity, communication, expectations and training. In this special issue, Nature explores how the working environment shapes research quality and morale — and what can be done to strengthen the research enterprise. From our survey of more than 3,000 researchers to first-hand experiences of how to nurture and improve research culture, we unpick the issues that can derail a lab and that can help make it the best place to work.
Academic leaders must audit departments for flaws and strengths, then tailor practices to build good behaviour, say C. K. Gunsalus and Aaron D. Robinson.
Ambiguity in expectations and evaluations harms progress, say Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton and colleagues.
Nature asked scientists to recommend one thing that institutional and laboratory leaders could do to make science more productive, rigorous and happy.
Lessons in leadership from outside the laboratory.
Universities should take responsibility to ensure professional science is performed in an environment that is supportive, productive and rigorous.
I was hired to ferret out errors and establish routines that promote rigorous research, says Catherine Winchester.