An interview with Prof. Jorge J. Casal

In the interview Jorge has several insights about his career path and also advice for early stage researchers. I have been Jorge’s friend and collaborator for more than 30 years, and been a witness of how he has followed since he was an undergraduate the path he now gives as advice in the interview. The result has been a successful career doing very original research.

“Flow”, success and hapiness

Yesterday after our Biophilosophy Society session, I had an interesting chat with Matan about whether switching research subjects is good or bad.

Today, just by chance I ended watching this video from 2008. I think it nicely answers what we discussed. NOW WATCH THE VIDEO… (19 minutes long, but really worth your time)

Only after watching the video, you will understand what follows:

If you you feel that the field your are working on, does not provide enough of a challenge to get you into ‘flow’ at least now and then, then you have two options: find new challenges that you find exciting within your current discipline, or shift your interests to another discipline. Which of these routes you take, is quite irrelevant as long as you can reuse enough of your current skills in the new subject to be within your safe zone of comfort. Reusing the skills does not require the skills to be used in the same way as in the previous discipline, just that you find a way of making use of your skills even if by analogy when analysing a new problem.

I am currently participating in the “Leadership training” organized by the university, and in one recent meetings of my research group when discussing how to better work as a group, I emphasized that for every member of the group their work should be fun. This idea is formalized, and backed with data in the talk in the video I embedded above. So, if you skipped it, scroll up the page and watch it!

 

PDF files from my recent talks

Some of you have missed my talks on statistics because of other meetings and a retreat. If you would like to have a look at the presentations, they are now available on.line, together with another couple of talks on LEDs and research on plants’ responses to UV radiation that I gave recently at a conference and at a seminar. You can access them from the SenPEP’s website in the NEWS section.