PI Quotes – 1 “Always think you’re stupid” *edit*

This is the beginning of a “series” I would like to be about “PI Quotes“. I have been very lucky up to now to work with funny and inspired PI’s in that area :p

So here comes the 1st PI quote I think and smile about very often, mainly because it’s so true :

Let me give you the context : I am somebody quite sloppy when it comes to labeling tubes (but I am improving). During my master’s, I would often try to memorize the content of my tubes in relation to their position in the tube rack, rather then writing neatly on each one. Inevitably, I would make mistakes here and there, and my PI had a talent to notice these things 🙂

So once, he told me :

Always think that you’re the stupid one. You’re stupid, I’m stupid, we’re all stupid. We all think we can remember what’s in tubes without labeling, but we actually never can. And starting to doubt about this screws up the experiment you worked so hard on. So label your tubes, please.” 

I’ll always remember that moment. And I think about it almost every time I label eppi’s now. It’s such a good example of very intelligent people being humble and not taking themselves to seriously when doing science.

Dear readers, don’t hesitate to share your own “PI quotes” in the comments, I’ll integrate them to the post.

I very happy readers contributed here : 

Quietandsmall said : my current PI’s fave thing to say is, “so the question is…..”

On the tube labeling, Lythfire commented : My previous PI in germany was not that philosophical, he used to tell me these things in another way : “If I see some eppendorfs without label in the fridge, I’ll throw them away. Make sure it’s not gonna happen”. Indeed, this is quite radical !

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2 thoughts on “PI Quotes – 1 “Always think you’re stupid” *edit*

  1. Very interesting topic ! My previous PI in germany was not that philosophical, he used to tell me these things in another way : “If I see some eppendorfs without label in the fridge, I’ll throw them away. Make sure it’s not gonna happen”.
    My humble contribution : I clearly remember my very first PI, who was italian, when I had the interview for a training, telling me : “You should always choose your lab like you choose your girlfriend. Everyone has his own criteria, needs, and desires.” Certainly a good advice when you start in this field.

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