【转载】如何在学术界保持心理健康?

今天看到了缪斯夫人的推文,看得简直涕泪横流。感谢钱岳mm,写出来很多人的心声,更重要的是分享了一些有用的应对之道。

太长不看版:

2017年的时候,著名期刊Nature在全世界范围内调查了超过5700名正在攻读PhD的科研萌新们,结果发现:39%以上的博士有抑郁或者焦虑症状,这一比例是普通人群的6倍以上。调查还发现让他们压力山大的来源主要是对于如何平衡工作和生活的苦恼以及对于未来学术生涯发展的困惑。在学术圈中生存不易,如何让自己尽量保持一个健康平和的心态可能是我们必须补上的一门功课。

小诀窍:

  1. 但是,我不会把我自己和他们比,也不会把我自己和学术界的其他朋友比。每个人的 career path 是很不一样的,每个人的成功也是不能复制的。研究领域不同、研究兴趣和方法各异、研究受众也很不一样。拿自己和别人比完全没什么必要。”
  2. 克服焦虑的不二法门就是享受当下认真工作的专注感所带来的幸福,认真写好每一篇论文,同时在这个过程中,不断地、积极地思考新的研究问题。如果可以专注地做好手头的每一件事情,我们实在不必为“几年之后会发生什么”而担忧。
  3. Find something that keeps you going.而不是每天把所有的意义感都放在发论文上…找点你喜欢的打酱油的方式,全身心投入(但有节制)地打酱油,也是学术界保持心理健康的重要方式。

全文见:https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/jRYM1MD-_YkTiobCjlLBxg

[转载]Some useful tools for graduate school success

无意间发现的一个在线资源,读完了非常鼓舞,值得订阅。

http://gradlogic.org/category/interview/

  1. Follow your passions and talents 
  2. Pick your advisor and lab wisely [可以好好看看在调研导师的时候需要注意的问题]
  3. Learn to write well
  4. Get confused. Try new things. Risk failure.

外加一个有趣的个人职业发展评估工具:The MyIDP tool can help you identify your strengths.

Be very selective and deliberate when you decide how to spend your time: Your Bag of Apples | Set Realistic Goals.

Creating a To Be list can help you to preserve the essence of yourself.

 

 

 

转载|关于公开产业源支付,专业医疗组织怎么看

Source: http://www.policymed.com/2015/12/study-explores-lack-of-sunshine-act-guidance-from-professional-medical-associations.html

Credit: Policy and Medicine Blog.


As with any large piece of legislation, the Sunshine Act (Open Payments) has conjured up a wide variety of reactions, including concerns about the accuracy of the published data, possible misinterpretations of the published data, and downstream effects on innovative drug development. More fundamentally, given the complexity of the Sunshine Act, simply figuring out what the rules are has proven challenging. A recent research article published in Postgraduate Medicine, has concluded that a lack of professional guidance on how to interpret elements of Sunshine Act may be having a “chilling effect” on physician investigators’ participation in clinical trials and publish results.

A group of researchers delved into various guidances from professional medical associations to get a better understanding of how physicians are views the requirements, and what, if any advice they provide to their members on how to best comply. The article focuses on guidance on how-“nonmonetary assistance” provided by the pharmaceutical industry to those who write medical publications on licensed drugs. Industry often provides this support to authors “to assist with the development of medical publications (including peer-reviewed journal articles and reviews, congress abstracts and oral and poster presentations),” the authors write. “The support often is in the form of medical writing, copyediting and creating artwork for the publications, under the direction of the authors.

Researchers’ Methods

The researchers explored both peer-reviewed and “grey” literature to get the best compilation of industry viewpoints. Grey literature is defined as “articles, in print or electronic form, not published in easily accessible journals and which may not be indexed in formal academic databases” and can be found in search engines such as Google and Google Scholar.

The researchers pored through many articles and publications, placing them into sixcategories: industry-supported/sponsored publications, industry–author relationships, industry–investigator relationships, guidance and/or recommendations related to industry– HCP relationships, ethical considerations around the Act, and industry-sponsored research. If an article or publication did not fit into one of the six criteria, it was excluded. If an article fit into multiple categories, the researchers placed it in the category that was most prominent within the article.

Once a publication was deemed to meet the criteria, the researchers collected its publication type (peer reviewed, “grey,” industry, or academic), the year the article was published, the content type, and created a structured summary of three significant findings/conclusions per publication.

Results

In total, the researchers reviewed fifty-nine articles and concluded that there is limited guidance out there on how to best follow the Sunshine Act mandate. Professional associations tended to focus on clarifying the reporting requirements to their subscribers and readers. While the professional associations websites and articles “contained broad guidance, there was insufficient consistence or consensus from associations around specific concerns, including [transfers of value] for research grants, trial participation and medical publications.”

Most of the publications and articles focused on reiterating the Rules to their readership, ensuring that at the very least, their readers would know that the new Rules existed. Whether the readers would know how to implement those Rules, however, is another question. Most publications tried to provide an outline for covered recipients and healthcare providers, showing them how to prepare themselves and check the data reported.

The arena of medical publications and payments remains murky, at best. The researchers found that the Rules contain no clear direction on how to report industry support of authors. One group found that even when guidance is sought and clarifications were requested, it was tough to discern the real answers and requirements.

Additionally, the authors of the study came to realize that key opinion leaders in the field may be overrepresented in the clinical literature relative to other experts, regardless of their financial relationships, because of the frequency with which they appear in publications and articles offering their expertise. This has the potential to limit the value of disclosures made under the Act.

Conclusion

The researchers determined that while there is some guidance that has been written on the most effective, efficient, and responsible way to implement and follow the Sunshine Act mandate, there is no expert interpretation of the Final Rules. As such, there are not only many gaps in guidance, but also a lack of complete confidence in the guidance that has been written.

The researchers do recognize that a lack of expert interpretation can be due to many reasons, one of which is publications are expecting the law to evolve a bit before it reaches its final form, and contracting an expert opinion at this point in time is a bit too early.

The authors warn that without the expert interpretation of the Final Rules, “the process of assigning a monetary value to publication support may continue to vary across companies. One consequence may be confusion among authors, particularly those working with several different companies, and the risk of disputed Open Payments records.” They believe that education is one of the most important components to ensure that the relationships between the pharmaceutical industry and physicians, and the data published in the Open Payments system, are placed and understood in the proper context.

What is CRISPR-Cas9? | 转载

//players.brightcove.net/245991542/344c319b-6d23-4cbc-975e-c8530534af8a_default/index.html?videoId=4598521180001

Meet one of the world’s most groundbreaking scientists. He’s 34.

So inspired to read about scientific breakthroughs in neuroscience by such an homy-style Chinese guy!

To all my dear friends in biological research: hang in there, and make a difference!

[转载]THE DATA SCIENCE VENN DIAGRAM | Drew Conway

其实是2010年的文章,今天恰巧在朋友圈里翻出来。phd读了3年之后再看这个问题,有了很多有血有肉的感受。 再次提醒自己不要太过迷恋machine learning的那一套,特别是作为卖domain knowledge的social science phd.

最初文章po在作者blog上,没想到这哥们2013年才刚从NYU毕业,真是够年轻。

http://drewconway.com/zia/2013/3/26/the-data-science-venn-diagram

但是更想转在dataists上的po文,下面的网友留言也蛮值得看的,比如对于data mining,KDD,machine learning和data scientist之间的划分。我个人仍然倾向于不随便贴标签,除非某个定义对后续推导至关重要。但是必须承认,至少在marketing圈内,对于data mining和KDD的口碑越来越不积极,往往存有“mindless data manipulation”的暗示。如何用一种符合本圈价值观的方式去推广基于big data和machine learning skills的研究,是写paper是必须注意的。

http://www.dataists.com/2010/09/the-data-science-venn-diagram/

今天发现老板的twitter上已自称marketing scientist,唔。。。果然学界大佬也要脸不红心不跳地自吹自擂啊。

扩展阅读:Data Science through the lens of social science. http://drewconway.com/zia/?p=2378

关于大数据以及社会科学的一点思考

  1. 关于大数据泡沫:

大数据的热潮愈演愈烈,颇有些发烧过头的感觉。仔细想想,对于社会科学研究工作,大数据的意义到底在哪里?自我总结了一下,归结为三点:一是大,因此对于电脑数据处理能力有高要求,特别是实时数据流,为了在数据更新之前得出结论,必须在有限时间内完成分析;二是杂,市场客观数据不再为某个研究课题度身定制,必须能够从各种烦杂干扰(confounding)中找出正确的数据鉴别策略(identification strategy),从而推断因果关系,所以对统计分析能力有高要求;三是数据出现在问题之前,和第二点相呼应,必须培养挖掘(data-mining)的眼光和见地,才能根据已有数据问出有价值的好问题。这三点的难度逐次增加,特别是第三点,太需要所研究行业的行业知识了(domain knowledge), 总感觉自己在这方面太稚嫩,一时半会儿很难有所突破。

2. 关于中国数据:

中国和印度数据的珍贵之处就在于,发达国家的社会发展已经非常平稳,缺乏显著变化;而中国现在经历着前所未有的迅速发展,这种动态下的社会方方面面,不仅从历史、政治学角度来讲十分有研究意义,而且从统计分析角度来讲,数据的厚度(多变量)、长度(多时期)、丰富度(大量variation),都给统计检测带来极大便利。当然,天下没有免费午餐,这样的数据带来的麻烦,就是伪相关 (spurious correlation)。要鉴别出真正的因果关系,对于现象背后的机理的理解至关重要。而这么高速变动的社会里,其背后的domain/institutional knowledge实在是太不容易厘清了。另一方面,中国尚不完善的数据收集和清理体系也造成很多数据的质量不可保证。数据缺失、篡改实在是太多,数据内部自相矛盾的地方经常造成很多信息不可用。当然这主要局限在政府数据上,很多研究机构自己牵头的调研数据还是不错的。不过话说回来,既然谈的是未经事先设计的大数据,那么多半都是网上扒的;天国审查制度,不禁又多添一条干扰……

3. 关于机器学习

大数据带来的另一重热潮,就是对机器学习的追捧。 不过作为一个从前“热门”专业的大坑跳出来的人,经验提醒我,对任何领域的热乎劲都要保持几分谨慎……瞧瞧CS界,机器学习的热度已经开始下降,毕竟人家的重点不是什么application, 而是发展新的理论(譬如近几年大火的深度学习)。同样的,只是把一个人家用滥了的方法应用到社科界来而不添加任何额外价值,这样的纯粹arbitrage实在是危险且易于被复制的。说到底,借鉴的目的也是为了创新,如何基于已有新方法新技术而发现社科领域有意义的新知,才是应该反复思考的。提醒自己,切忌过于迷恋技术,而忘了科学研究的本质……回归上面三点,说到底前两点都只是容易拾起的“术”(特别是对于一个受尽折磨的PhD), 而最后一点,才是作科研反复求索的“道”。说白了,明白机器学习相关技术的逻辑,剩下来的implementation,就交给RA去做吧。

To Be Continued…

Research Methodology | Manove’s Dissertation Advice for PhD Students

Manove’s Dissertation Advice for PhD Students

In my first year at college, I was assigned an adviser from the physics department.  He was a senior professor, not too many years from retirement.  “You can ask me anything you want,” he said in our first meeting, “but don’t ask me about sex—I don’t remember it.”  I finished my own thesis more than 40 years ago, so perhaps I ought to adopt a similar attitude about dissertations.  Instead, I will bother you with unsolicited advice.  My advice is completely unofficial: it does NOT represent department policy in any way.

When to Get Started

“Anyone can write a good dissertation,” they say, “but not everyone can finish it quickly.”  Yes, but it helps if you get an early start.  If you want, you can sit around thinking, “I don’t have any ideas,” “I’m embarrassed to talk with a professor,” or  “I have to put all of my energy into being a TA.”  Those feelings are natural, but it’s in your self-interest to ignore them.  Some students say to themselves, “Now that I’ve finished my coursework, I’ll relax for a year.” Sure, you deserve a rest, but the opportunity cost of a long rest is certain to be very high.  In my view, you should start working on your thesis as soon as your second-year paper is finished and you have no more than one course left to complete.  Normally, this means that you should start working on your dissertation by the end of the first semester of your third year, or sooner.

Choosing a TopicMichelangelo

Michelangelo wrote: “Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”  Likewise, after years of coursework, after reading the newspapers, after listening to professors, preachers and politicians, you have a good idea for a dissertation topic somewhere inside your brain.  You have only to find it.  And a topic that you discover yourself is bound to be more motivating than one suggested by an adviser would be.  Almost everything that goes on in this world, from sinning to soccer, has an economic aspect that can be explored.  Inasmuch as pure theory and econometric theory aren’t exactly about what goes on in the world, the discussion below is probably less applicable to those fields.

Unless you are a true genius, a good thesis topic is a narrow topic, not one designed to revamp a field of economics.  But narrow topics can help answer broad questions.  Last week [5/11/2011] , Phil Oreopoulis presented a lecture entitled, “What Does Schooling Do?”  A lot of work has been done on in this area, but little is known.  Do students learn productive skills in their coursework? Or do they merely learn self-discipline and how to meet deadlines?  Does schooling yield positive externalities to others in the community?  Do people attend college as a signal of their ability?  Or is college primarily a consumption activity?  There’s room for a thousand new papers here alone.

To me, the most important question in development economics is “Why are poor countries poor?”  There must be a large number of partial answers to that question.  Can you find one of them?  Or why is China getting rich so fast?  If you’ve lived in China, you may have a small idea that you can develop in this area.

Of course, if you like the idea in your second-year paper, you may want to continue to work on that topic.  If you’re bored with it, choose something else.  It’s hard to work when you are bored.

The department has many research seminars and workshops, some say too many.  Check them out athttp://www.bu.edu/econ/events/.  Start attending them in your second year, and by your third year, try to attend at least two a week.  In many of the workshops, PhD students are presenting their research.  These are great places to see what others are doing and to help you find ideas for your own research.

Keep in mind that “the best is an enemy of the good.”  You don’t need a formal search model to know that it doesn’t make sense to search until you find the perfect topic.  Start working on something quickly; you’ll have plenty of time to shift the topic as you go.  After you find an idea of interest, write up a description of the idea in a few pages of prose—no math or econometrics allowed.  Then go off to talk with faculty members.  [Caution: some pure economic and econometric theorists dislike the verbal approach, but I myself believe in it.]

Finding Dissertation Advisers

All faculty members are busy.  Some are busy working, and some are busy feeling guilty about not working enough.  But that’s their problem, not yours.  Your problem is to find several faculty members (normally three), busy or not, who can advise you on your dissertation.  When you want to meet with a faculty member, send an email asking for an appointment.  If she doesn’t answer within a day or two, just resend the email (no need to write another one).  If the faculty member says, “I don’t have much time this week,” you can respond, “When will you have time?”  Eventually, you will have an appointment.

Begin discussing your ideas with faculty as soon as you have written a few pages describing one or more of your ideas.  This should happen by the end of the first semester of your third year.  Talking with a person of the opposite sex (or the same sex if you prefer) doesn’t require you to marry him or her.  Likewise, talking with a faculty member about a research idea, doesn’t require you to adopt her as an adviser.  That can come later, after you have been meeting with the person on a regular basis.  Meet with several faculty members.  If you are working on health economics, for example, you may want to meet with someone who is knowledgeable about the institutions in your favorite country, someone else who knows theory, and someone else who has experience with empirical work and data (yuk).  If you enter a faculty member’s office, and find it too messy or too clean, or if his shirt is the wrong shade of pink, then try someone else.  Shop around.

Some faculty members already have a large number of advisees, and some, especially the younger set, may have very few.  You can find out how many by asking around or by asking Andy Campolieto, who tends to know these things.  As with most choices, there’s a tradeoff here.  Having lots of advisees is a good signal about advising quality, but it may be a bad signal about available time.  Younger faculty with few advisees may be able to give you more time, may have lots of fresh ideas, and may have very up-to-date knowledge of technical tools.  Take a look at their CVs to see what they are publishing.  And don’t forget that if you want to be a professor when you grow up, you might look for a primary adviser (first reader) who has lots of contacts and can help you get a good academic job.

Try to see your advisers on a regular basis, at least every week or two.  The main reason for doing this is not to hear their penetrating comments, but rather to keep yourself working.  It’s embarrassing to return to a professor’s office and say, “I haven’t done any research in the last two weeks.”  You will have a strong incentive to work hard and avoid embarrassment, which is the most painful and best remembered of all emotions.

If you plan to write an empirical thesis, and most of you should, you will need data.  The most important thing you need to know about data is that the word “data” is plural.  If you accidentally say “this data” instead of “these data” you won’t sound like the pompous scholar that you want to be.  The next most important thing to know about data is what data to get and how to get them.  Good advisers can be especially helpful for this, though some of you may have special knowledge or connections with institutions in your home country that will permit you to acquire data on your own.  In any event, you should start working on data acquisition as early as possible, because the process can be slow and sometimes costly.  You may also have to clean the data before you use them, an activity that requires both the innocence of youth and the guiding hand of an adviser who wouldn’t want to do it herself.

The Dissertation Proposal

In recent years the dissertation proposal has become nothing more than a rehearsal for the dissertation defense, a situation that leaves the proposal almost useless.  But now the GIC is attempting to turn back the clock and turn the “proposal” back into a proposal, i.e., a proposed plan for the research to come.  In his recent statement on procedures for PhD dissertations, Bart Lipman states that the proposal “needs to be specific enough that your advisors [he means “advisers”] can say with a reasonable degree of confidence that at least most of what you propose to do can be done and is worth doing.”  I would say it this way: the plan of research described in your proposal should be feasible and sufficient to qualify you for the degree.  I recommend that you include a detailed table of contents in the proposal, and next to each item write “completed” if it has been completed or the date by which you plan to complete it.  If your committee accepts your proposal, it serves not only as a research plan, but also as an informal contract that sets out what you are expected to do in the final dissertation.  If you do what you say you will in the accepted proposal, your advisers are less likely to insist on more work later.

The GIC has decided to impose a deadline for the proposal at the end of May of your fourth year.  I think that their deadline is far too late.  If you begin working on your dissertation in the first semester of your third year, as you should, then May of your fourth year will seem very far away.  You may be seduced into spending all your time teaching, talking with your mom on the phone, or worrying about your kids, none of which are productive activities.  Find a commitment device that requires you to defend your proposal during the first semester of your fourth year.  For example, you could give $1000 to Albert Ma, and tell him that he can keep $20 for each day that you are late.  If you miss the early deadline, it will be a lot less painful than losing your financial aid in the fifth year, which is what happens if your proposal is not successfully defended by the May-31 deadline set by the GIC.

The Job-Market Paper

If you want to obtain a good research-oriented job, you will need to complete a potentially publishable job-market paper by the end of October in the year you go on the market, normally your fifth year.  The October deadline is not a flexible one: every day that goes by after that deadline lowers your expected number of interviews at the Meetings.  Without interviews you won’t have fly-outs, and no fly-outs, no-job.  Yes, there are exceptions, and the Catholic Church recognizes miracles, but these are rare.

The job-market paper is usually a completed chapter of the doctoral dissertation.  If you defend your proposal at the end of May, you will have five months to complete the paper, which isn’t a lot of time to get your first publishable paper ready.  That’s another reason why I recommend an earlier December deadline for the proposal.

I’ve started to read many job-market papers, and I’ve read a few of them completely.  The most important thing about a job-market paper (or any research paper) is the title.  A good title is informative, though probably not cute.  If the title sounds uninteresting, a potential reader is likely to move on to the title of someone else’s paper.  Next comes the abstract.  The abstract should explain in a few words what you have done and why it’s important or even surprising.  If the abstract is dull or incomprehensible, the reader is likely to assume that the rest of the paper is the same way and place it gently into the recycle bin.  (This is a bad thing, because recycled paper lowers the demand for wood pulp and reduces the incentive to grow trees.)  Next in importance comes the introduction.  Here you not only explain what you’ve done and why it’s important, but you also explain the intuition behind your idea in words.  Provide examples wherever possible.  If after reading the introduction, I don’t understand what the author is doing, I assume (correctly) that the author doesn’t understand what he is doing either, and I go no further.

As for the rest of the paper, you want to continue to emphasize intuition and examples.  Put most of the nasty math and proofs of propositions in the appendix.  Some economists think that lots of technical stuff will impress others in the profession.  But the truth is that too much math interrupts the flow of your argument.  In fact, very few economists like to read math, and those who do are likely to be rather strange—just think about my colleagues in theory.  Be sure to finish your paper on time, be sure that your advisers read the paper and quiz you about it, and have it copyedited before you send it out.

The Doctoral Dissertation

The normal dissertation consists of three papers, related or otherwise.  Two of the papers should be pretty good, and potentially publishable; the third paper can be a kind of filler so long as it doesn’t embarrass you or the department.  The entire dissertation has a title and an abstract, which the dean reads (make sure it’s grammatical), and, normally, an introduction and conclusion.  The thesis as a package isn’t very important nowadays—nobody but your mother or father is likely to pay any attention to it.  It’s the papers inside the thesis that are of interest: you will put them online and eventually submit them for publication.

The Dissertation Defense

Before you can graduate with your PhD, you must describe your dissertation in a so-called dissertation defense.  At BU (and in most US universities) the defense is an informal formality that takes place when the dissertation is substantially complete.  You will have about an hour to review your work and answer questions from the examining committee.  After that, the examining committee meets and decides whether or not you passed the defense (almost everyone does) and then decides whether or not a bit more work is necessary (it usually is).

The examining committee consists of five people: your three advisers and two other faculty members who serve as warm bodies.  Your advisers are expected to read and comment on various versions of your thesis in advance of the defense; the warm bodies (fourth reader and chair of the examining committee) are expected to attend the defense and ask a question or two during your presentation.  With the agreement of the DGI, you may be able to choose the warm bodies yourself, but be careful: they must be intelligent enough to write their initials on the required form and to sip the cheap champagne-like fluid they serve after they tell you that you’ve passed.  I myself often serve as a warm body, and I enjoy the process.

Conclusion

The main ingredients for success in a PhD program are self-confidence, self-discipline and ambition.  Intelligence has little to do with the process.  I’m confident that I’ve given you good advice, even though some of my colleagues will undoubtedly think it’s disastrous.  Fortunately, by the time you find out and decide to hold me responsible, I probably will have retired and gone off to enjoy the sunshine in Tenerife or some such place.  This is odd, because I don’t like sunshine.

Research Methodology | Some Cynical Advice for Graduate Students

数年前,标题中还是cynical,现在已然改成了Modest.在北大曾经与Dr. Stearns 有过一面之缘,说实话,还是cynical更适合他。非常好的学术研究建议,其中描写的pitfall我几乎条条必中,深为惭愧。对于一个追求自我成长的研究者来说,应该时时参照,反思调整。

Biography

Prof. Stearns specializes in life history evolution, which links the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, and in evolutionary medicine. He came to Yale in 2000 from the University of Basel, Switzerland, where he had been professor of zoology since 1983 and held several administrative posts.

His books include “Evolution, an introduction” (Oxford, 2000, 2nd Ed 2005) with Rolf Hoekstra, “Watching, from the Edge of Extinction” (Yale, 1999) with his wife Beverly Peterson Stearns, “The Evolution of Life Histories” (Oxford, 1992), and two edited volumes, “Evolution in health and disease” (Oxford, 1998, 2nd Ed 2008) and “The Evolution of Sex and its Consequences.”

A 1967 graduate of Yale College, Stearns earned a M.S. from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia.  He was a Miller Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, before taking up an appointment at Reed College prior to moving to Switzerland.

Prof. Stearns founded and has served as president of both the European Society for Evolutionary Biology and the Tropical Biology Association and was founding editor of the Journal of Evolutionary Biology. He has been a vice president of the Society for the Study of Evolution and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

—– cite from:  http://stearnslab.yale.edu/some-modest-advice-graduate-students —————–

Some Modest Advice for Graduate Students

Some Modest Advice for Graduate Students
by Stephen C. Stearns

Always Prepare for the Worst.

Some of the greatest catastrophes in graduate education could have been avoided by a little intelligent foresight. Be cynical. Assume that your proposed research might not work, and that one of your faculty advisers might become unsupportive – or even hostile. Plan for alternatives.

Nobody cares about you.

In fact, some professors care about you and some don’t. Most probably do, but all are busy, which means in practice they cannot care about you because they don’t have the time. You are on your own, and you had better get used to it. This has a lot of implications. Here are two important ones:

1. You had better decide early on that you are in charge of your program. The degree you get is yours to create. Your major professor can advise you and protect you to a certain extent from bureaucratic and financial demons, but he should not tell you what to do. That is up to you. If you need advice, ask for it: that’s his job.

2. If you want to pick somebody’s brains, you’ll have to go to him or her, because they won’t be coming to you.

You Must Know Why Your Work is Important.

When you first arrive, read and think widely and exhaustively for a year. Assume that everything you read is bullshit until the author manages to convince you that it isn’t. If you do not understand something, don’t feel bad – it’s not your fault, it’s the author’s. He didn’t write clearly enough.

If some authority figure tells you that you aren’t accomplishing anything because you aren’t taking courses and you aren’t gathering data, tell him what you’re up to. If he persists, tell him to bug off, because you know what you’re doing, dammit.

This is a hard stage to get through because you will feel guilty about not getting going on your own research. You will continually be asking yourself, “What am I doing here?” Be patient. This stage is critical to your personal development and to maintaining the flow of new ideas into science. Here you decide what constitutes an important problem. You must arrive at this decision independently for two reasons. First, if someone hands you a problem, you won’t feel that it is yours, you won’t have that possessiveness that makes you want to work on it, defend it, fight for it, and make it come out beautifully. Secondly, your PhD work will shape your future. It is your choice of a field in which to carry out a life’s work. It is also important to the dynamic of science that your entry be well thought out. This is one point where you can start a whole new area of research. Remember, what sense does it make to start gathering data if you don’t know – and I mean really know – why you’re doing it?

Psychological Problems are the Biggest Barrier.

You must establish a firm psychological stance early in your graduate career to keep from being buffeted by the many demands that will be made on your time. If you don’t watch out, the pressures of course work, teaching, language requirements and who knows what else will push you around like a large, docile molecule in Brownian motion. Here are a few things to watch out for:

1. The initiation-rite nature of the PhD and its power to convince you that your value as a person is being judged. No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to avoid this one. No one does. It stems from the open-ended nature of the thesis problem. You have to decide what a “good” thesis is. A thesis can always be made better, which gets you into an infinite regress of possible improvements.

Recognize that you cannot produce a “perfect” thesis. There are going to be flaws in it, as there are in everything. Settle down to make it as good as you can within the limits of time, money, energy, encouragement and thought at your disposal.

You can alleviate this problem by jumping all the explicit hurdles early in the game. Get all of your course requirements and examinations out of the way as soon as possible. Not only do you thereby clear the decks for your thesis, but you also convince yourself, by successfully jumping each hurdle, that you probably are good enough after all.

2. Nothing elicits dominant behavior like subservient behavior. Expect and demand to be treated like a colleague. The paper requirements are the explicit hurdle you will have to jump, but the implicit hurdle is attaining the status of a colleague. Act like one and you’ll be treated like one.

3. Graduate school is only one of the tools that you have at hand for shaping your own development. Be prepared to quit for awhile if something better comes up. There are three good reasons to do this.

First, a real opportunity could arise that is more productive and challenging than anything you could do in graduate school and that involves a long enough block of time to justify dropping out. Examples include field work in Africa on a project not directly related to your PhD work, a contract for software development, an opportunity to work as an aide in the nation’s capital in the formulation of science policy, or an internship at a major newspaper or magazine as a science journalist.

Secondly, only by keeping this option open can you function with true independence as a graduate student. If you perceive graduate school as your only option, you will be psychologically labile, inclined to get a bit desperate and insecure, and you will not be able to give your best.

Thirdly, if things really are not working out for you, then you are only hurting yourself and denying resources to others by staying in graduate school. There are a lot of interesting things to do in life besides being a scientist, and in some the job market is a lot better. If science is not turning you on, perhaps you should try something else. However, do not go off half-cocked. This is a serious decision. Be sure to talk to fellow graduate students and sympathetic faculty before making up your mind.

Avoid Taking Lectures – They’re Usually Inefficient.

If you already have a good background in your field, then minimize the number of additional courses you take. This recommendation may seem counterintuitive, but it has a sound basis. Right now, you need to learn how to think for yourself. This requires active engagement, not passive listening and regurgitation.

To learn to think, you need two things: large blocks of time, and as much one-on-one interaction as you can get with someone who thinks more clearly than you do.

Courses just get in the way, and if you are well motivated, then reading and discussion is much more efficient and broadening than lectures. It is often a good idea to get together with a few colleagues, organize a seminar on a subject of interest, and invite a few faculty to take part. They’ll probably be delighted. After all, it will be interesting for them, they’ll love your initiative – and it will give them credit for teaching a course for which they don’t have to do any work. How can you lose?

These comments of course do not apply to courses that teach specific skills: e.g., electron microscopy, histological technique, scuba diving.

Write a Proposal and Get It Criticized.

A research proposal serves many functions.

1. By summarizing your year’s thinking and reading, it ensures that you have gotten something out of it.

2. It makes it possible for you to defend your independence by providing a concrete demonstration that you used your time well.

3. It literally makes it possible for others to help you. What you have in mind is too complex to be communicated verbally – too subtle, and in too many parts. It must be put down in a well-organized, clearly and concisely written document that can be circulated to a few good minds. Only with a proposal before them can they give you constructive criticism.

4. You need practice writing. We all do.

5. Having located your problem and satisfied yourself that it is important, you will have to convince your colleagues that you are not totally demented and, in fact, deserve support. One way to organize a proposal to accomplish this goal is:

a. A brief statement of what you propose, couched as a question or hypothesis.

b. Why it is important scientifically, not why it is important to you personally, and how it fits into the broader scheme of ideas in your field.

c. A literature review that substantiates (b).

d. Describe your problem as a series of subproblems that can each be attacked in a series of small steps. Devise experiments, observations or analyses that will permit you to exclude alternatives at each stage. Line them up and start knocking them down. By transforming the big problem into a series of smaller ones, you always know what to do next, you lower the energy threshold to begin work, you identify the part that will take the longest or cause the most problems, and you have available a list of things to do when something doesn’t work out.

6. Write down a list of the major problems that could arise and ruin the whole project. Then write down a list of alternatives that you will do if things actually do go wrong.

7. It is not a bad idea to design two or three projects and start them in parallel to see which one has the best practical chance of succeeding. There could be two or three model systems that all seem to have equally good chances on paper of providing appropriate tests for your ideas, but in fact practical problems may exclude some of them. It is much more efficient to discover this at the start than to design and execute two or three projects in succession after the first fail for practical reasons.

8. Pick a date for the presentation of your thesis and work backwards in constructing a schedule of how you are going to use your time. You can expect a stab of terror at this point. Don’t worry – it goes on like this for awhile, then it gradually gets worse.

9. Spend two to three weeks writing the proposal after you’ve finished your reading, then give it to as many good critics as you can find. Hope that their comments are tough, and respond as constructively as you can.

10. Get at it. You already have the introduction to your thesis written, and you have only been here 12 to 18 months.

Manage Your Advisors.

Keep your advisors aware of what you are doing, but do not bother them. Be an interesting presence, not a pest. At least once a year, submit a written progress report 1-2 pages long on your own initiative. They will appreciate it and be impressed.

Anticipate and work to avoid personality problems. If you do not get along with your professors, change advisors early on. Be very careful about choosing your advisors in the first place. Most important is their interest in your interests.

Types of Theses.

Never elaborate a baroque excrescence on top of existing but shaky ideas. Go right to the foundations and test the implicit but unexamined assumptions of an important body of work, or lay the foundations for a new research thrust. There are, of course, other types of theses:

1. The classical thesis involves the formulation of a deductive model that makes novel and surprising predictions which you then test objectively and confirm under conditions unfavorable to the hypothesis. Rarely done and highly prized.

2. A critique of the foundations of an important body of research. Again, rare and valuable and a sure winner if properly executed.

3. The purely theoretical thesis. This takes courage, especially in a department loaded with bedrock empiricists, but can be pulled off if you are genuinely good at math and logic.

4. Gather data that someone else can synthesize. This is the worst kind of thesis, but in a pinch it will get you through. To certain kinds of people lots of data, even if they don’t test a hypothesis, will always be impressive. At least the results show that you worked hard, a fact with which you can blackmail your committee into giving you the doctorate.

There are really as many kinds of theses as their are graduate students. The four types listed serve as limiting cases of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Doctoral work is a chance for you to try your hand at a number of different research styles and to discover which suites you best: theory, field work, or lab work. Ideally, you will balance all three and become the rare person who can translate the theory for the empiricists and the real world for the theoreticians.

Start Publishing Early.

Don’t kid yourself. You may have gotten into this game out of your love for plants and animals, your curiosity about nature, and your drive to know the truth, but you won’t be able to get a job and stay in it unless you publish. You need to publish substantial articles in internationally recognized, refereed journals. Without them, you can forget a career in science. This sounds brutal, but there are good reasons for it, and it can be a joyful challenge and fulfillment. Science is shared knowledge. Until the results are effectively communicated, they in effect do not exist. Publishing is part of the job, and until it is done, the work is not complete. You must master the skill of writing clear, concise, well-organized scientific papers. Here are some tips about getting into the publishing game.

1. Co-author a paper with someone who has more experience. Approach a professor who is working on an interesting project and offer your services in return for a junior authorship. He’ll appreciate the help and will give you lots of good comments on the paper because his name will be on it.

2. Do not expect your first paper to be world-shattering. A lot of eminent people began with a minor piece of work. The amount of information reported in the average scientific paper may be less than you think. Work up to the major journals by publishing one or two short – but competent – papers in less well-recognized journals. You will quickly discover that no matter what the reputation of the journal, all editorial boards defend the quality of their product with jealous pride – and they should!

3. If it is good enough, publish your research proposal as a critical review paper. If it is publishable, you’ve probably chosen the right field to work in.

4. Do not write your thesis as a monograph. Write it as a series of publishable manuscripts, and submit them early enough so that at least one or two chapters of your thesis can be presented as reprints of published articles.

5. Buy and use a copy of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. Read it before you sit down to write your first paper, then read it again at least once a year for the next three or four years. Day’s book, How to Write a Scientific Paper, is also excellent.

6. Get your work reviewed before you submit it to the journal by someone who has the time to criticize your writing as well as your ideas and organization.

Don’t Look Down on a Master’s Thesis.

The only reason not to do a master’s is to fulfill the generally false conceit that you’re too good for that sort of thing. The master’s has a number of advantages.

1. It gives you a natural way of changing schools if you want to. You can use this to broaden your background. Moreover, your ideas on what constitutes an important problem will probably be changing rapidly at this stage of your development. Your knowledge of who is doing what, and where, will be expanding rapidly. If you decide to change universities, this is the best way to do it. You leave behind people satisfied with your performance and in a position to provide well-informed letters of recommendation. You arrive with most of your PhD requirements satisfied.

2. You get much-needed experience in research and writing in a context less threatening than doctoral research. You break yourself in gradually. In research, you learn the size of a soluble problem. People who have done master’s work usually have a much easier time with the PhD.

3. You get a publication.

4. What’s your hurry? If you enter the job market too quickly, you won´t be well prepared. Better to go a bit more slowly, build up a substantial background, and present yourself a bit later as a person with more and broader experience.

Publish Regularly, But Not Too Much.

The pressure to publish has corroded the quality of journals and the quality of intellectual life. It is far better to have published a few papers of high quality that are widely read than it is to have published a long string of minor articles that are quickly forgotten. You do have to be realistic. You will need publications to get a post-doc, and you will need more to get a faculty position and then tenure. However, to the extent that you can gather your work together in substantial packages of real quality, you will be doing both yourself and your field a favor.

Most people publish only a few papers that make any difference. Most papers are cited little or not at all. About 10% of the articles published receive 90% of the citations. A paper that is not cited is time and effort wasted. Go for quality, not for quantity. This will take courage and stubbornness, but you won’t regret it. If you are publishing one or two carefully considered, substantial papers in good, refereed journals each year, you’re doing very well – and you’ve taken time to do the job right.

Acknowledgements Thanks to Frank Pitelka for providing an opportunity, to Ray Huey for being a co-conspirator and sounding board and for providing a number of the comments presented here, to the various unknown graduate students who kept these ideas in circulation, and to Pete Morin for suggesting that I write them up for publication.

Some Useful References.

Day, R.A. 1983. How to write and publish a scientific paper. 2nd ed. iSi Press, Philadephia. 181 pp. wise and witty.

Smith, R.V. 1984. Graduate research – a guide for students in the sciences. iSi Press, Philadelphia. 182 pp. complete and practical.

Strunk, W. Jr, and E.B. White.1979. The elements of style. 3rd Ed. Macmillan, New York. 92 pp. the paradigm of concision.

Stephen C. Stearns
Professor of Zoology
Zoologisches Institut der Universtät Basel
Rheinsprung 9
CH-4051 Basel, Switzerland

戴锦华|我庆幸自己的回归

全文转自北大博雅论坛:

http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MzA4ODEyNDQ4Mg==&mid=202571912&idx=1&sn=f0a74
5f07147a78e0b1f7d07adc12b4a#rd

摘 要
《昨日之岛》全书由戴锦华本人亲自选定,改定,包括十篇由本人精选的文章和一篇访谈
,修辞和论述气势磅礴,信息量巨大。从中可以看到戴锦华教授多年以来以电影为基点,
对当下与历史议题所展开的思考,尤其可以看到他思想发展的断面,发人深省。



昨日之岛:电影、学术与我(代序)

王炎(以下简称王):您是1982年开始在电影学院任教的吧?

戴锦华(以下简称戴):是,今年刚好30年。

王:当时为什么会选择大学教职?是成熟的考虑吗?

戴:还的确是。但其动机,今天看来自恋而矫情。
     确定高考志愿的时候,这已经成为一个明确的选择:新闻系还是中文系?矫情的是
,在我心里表述为,秋瑾还是居里夫人(笑)?选择中文系意味着学术之路,意味着“不
介入”(现实),做“纯”学者。在北大读书时,有时会在昏黄的未名湖边,看到儒雅的
老夫妻携手散步,暗中希望自己也能这样终了自己的人生。选择教职,还在于对学术自由
和自由生活的想象。
     最后一个理由是,七、八十年代之交,我们最恐惧的是精神的衰老、落伍、变得保
守。我想象始终和年轻人一起,与青春共处,也许可以避免、至少延缓心的老化——这最
后一点,我的确至今获益。

王:但为什么选择电影学院?

戴:这完全不是选的,所谓偶然就在于此。事实上成了我生命中的最大幸运之一。我们这
一代人生命中的点点滴滴,都裹挟在历史和大事件之中,社会变迁渗透了我们的日常生活
。毕业之际,不幸地遇到了国家机构(包括大学)人事调整,依稀记得又是“精兵简政”
,于是,许多专业对口的部门都停止“进人”。
     如果有选择,我一定选综合大学中文系;如果可能,一定选现当代文学。因为,大
学期间的关注、学位论文都在这个方向上。但是,当时完全没得选,仅有的两个大学教职
是,清华大学的文学共同课,另一个就是北京电影学院文学系。
     那时,第五代尚未问世(当然,第五代在圈内的称呼是“78班”——电影学院78级
,和我同届,我们正同时“走上社会”),北京电影学院在社会上还籍籍无名,我几乎无
从获得任何关于电影学院的信息。结果在两个选项中犹豫良久:都与专业无关。最后认定
看似电影学院优于当时纯粹的理工科大学清华,于是做出了选择。

王:具体地说,你的电影研究是如何开始的呢?

戴:比起同代人来,因为“误入”电影圈,所以我的研究起步晚了不少。应该说是两个契
机吧。
     其一是我心中的“恩师”之一:电影学院的前院长沈嵩生教授。我前往报到时,他
是文学系筹备组的副组长,建系后是我的系主任,一年后出任了院长。我曾经在追思的随
笔中写道过,他是此生最敬重的人/前辈之一:如此正直、睿智与包容。在阴晴不定的19
80年代,为我提供了如此多的庇护与引导。
     而另一个开端则得自法斯宾德——德国新电影的那位大导演,而不是最近大热的英
国演员“法鲨”(笑)。

王:21世纪中国真正进入全球化时代,您的国际学术活动也大大增加,到全世界各地参加
会议、国外讲学、国际学术交流等非常频繁。您如何评价自己在新世纪这十二年的工作?

戴:我并未投身社会行动,但却没有放弃介入。相反,我放弃了自己形成于上世纪七八十
年代的个人基调,放弃了旧式知识分子的自恋和傲慢,选择以一个普通志愿者的身份参与
我所认同的社会行动。
     我为自己设定了几个前提:
     其一,我要求自己成为一个真正意义上的志愿者。我固然可以做行动中的人们要求
或希望我做的一切、我擅长的一切;但我也乐于做任何类型的工作:劳动、打扫、煮菜烧
饭……我的原则是,对我认同的事情,我能帮忙则帮忙,不得则帮闲,底线是绝不添乱。
我不是领导者,不是启蒙者。我拒绝悲情,拒绝成为米兰·昆德拉意义上的舞者,拒绝舞
台追光。
     其二,我给自己一个限定是,内在地连接起我的社会介入和学术思考,但外在清晰
区隔这两部分:我拒绝借社会介入获取或增值自己的学院象征资本。我拒绝借社会行动获
取道德正义的高度或悲情自恋的资本。事实上,我从行动中的人们那里获得的是活力、创
造和快乐。
     其三,我再度上路——行万里路,看世界。于我,这是又一次的走异乡、行异路、
“寻找别样的人们”。这一次,我选择不再是欧美,而是第三世界——亚非拉。十余年间
,我造访了数十个亚非拉国家,每次都会深入其内地和乡村,我的生命和视野因之而彻底
改变。
     这一过程的一个副产品,是我在不期然间完成了自己的政治经济学转型——不是变
身为一个政治经济学的学者,而是具有政治经济学的内在视点。我曾相当挫败地感到自己
经历着思想上的“鬼打墙”,但在豁然开朗之后,我庆幸自己的回归。我发现自己拥有了
面对电影的事实以及与电影的事实所不同的视点与思考层面,发现了平行于我的第三世界
研究,而电影仍充满魅力和召唤。
     二十年过去,我再次返归电影场域。

王:太好了,欢迎回来。

本文摘自《昨日之岛:戴锦华电影文章自选集》,戴锦华 著,北京大学出版社,出版时
间:2015年1月。



《昨日之岛:戴锦华电影文章自选集》
丛书名:培文·电影
作者:戴锦华 著
定价:56.00元
北京大学出版社
出版日期:2015/01

内容简介:
本书包括十篇戴锦华本人精选的文章和一篇访谈,从中可以看到戴锦华教授多年以来电影
为基点,对当下与历史议题所展开的思考,尤其可以看到作者思想发展的断面。

作者简介:
戴锦华,曾任教于北京电影学院电影文学系;现任北京大学比较文学与比较文化研究所教
授,北京大学电影与文化研究中心主任,博士生导师;美国俄亥俄州立大学东亚系兼职教
授,并曾在美国、欧洲、日本、香港、台湾等国家和地区的数十所大学任客座教授。从事
电影、女性文学和大众文化的研究。

目录
昨日之岛:电影、学术与我(代序)
断桥:子一代的艺术
性别与叙事:当代中国电影中的女性
雾中风景:初读第六代
情结、伤口与镜中之像:当代文化中的日本想象
庆典之屏:新世纪的中国电影
历史、个人与另类冷战书写:《打开心门向蓝天》
全球化时代的怀旧与物恋:《花样年华》
侯孝贤的坐标
主体结构与观视方式:再读第四代
“刺秦”变奏曲