The Society, Environment and Emotions Lab aims to see things differently.  We are on the lookout for new approaches to how research can be done and how environmental problems should be tackled. Along the way, we're actively creating a new academic culture: one that is non-hierarchical, inclusive and collaborative, with a healthy dose of adventure, curiosity and fun.

Lab Principles

  • Participation is optional, not required
  • A safe space where everything stays in full confidentiality, i.e., Chatham House Rules.
  • A positive community where we recognize each other’s strengths and support each other in our various challenges.
  • A place to share resources, ideas, advice, contacts.
  • A potential source of collaborators on projects or writing.
  • A flexible environment where we can be as accountable as we want/need to be about research progress.
  • As non-hierarchical as possible with no defined “leader” but rotating responsibilities.
  • An opportunity to share and ‘teach’ others or discuss various themes of interest, e.g., comprehensive exam process, research methods, publication process, etc.
  • A place where we can push the boundaries of our comfort zones.
  • A place where there are no ‘stupid’ questions.
  • A place for discussion, not debate (we can explore perspectives and thoughts with no ‘winner’).
  • A distraction free zone (I.e. other work, phones, etc. are all put aside so we can concentrate on the discussion at hand).
throw out the trash

Things that need to be normalized in the academic process and careers: rejection; failure; uncertainty; not knowing; shitty first drafts (SFD).

Snail

Things that need to be demystified: how messy, time-consuming, frustrating etc research process can be; how much politics can part of the process, e.g., within a committee and/or publishing.

hands united together

Things that need to be challenged outright: isolation; zero-sum thinking; 110% commitment at the expense of health and well-being; etc

Lab Mentorship Principles

  1. Tailor mentoring to individuals’ needs [as you assess, and as they indicate].
  2. “Encourage” focus continuously.
  3. Fan the flames of enthusiasm.
  4. Encourage building careers around problems, NOT techniques.
  5. Promote [and support] risk-taking.
  6. Model dogged persistence [but with healthy work-life balancing].
  7. Empower through progressive responsibility.
  8. Emphasize storytelling and community “feeling that you are part of something larger than yourself is one of the most powerful emotions”.
  9. Laugh and have fun [while respecting others’ preferences and boundaries].
  10. Respect your own mentors [while acknowledging that no one is perfect].

Adapted from Robert Lefkowitz, The Art of Scholarly Mentoring