Monthly Archives: September 2012

Attention span decreased by two order of magnitude in the last few decades!

I came upon this interesting video through a LinkedIn contact. It seems that with internet, social media and now having access to all of it in your pocket (smartphone) have lead to the decrease of the attention span from 20 minutes to 9 seconds (that a two order of magnitude decrease – a 133 to be more precise!).

You Only Get 9 Seconds » Sally Hogshead, Keynote Speaker – YouTube

Next time you sit in a meeting or are in a classroom, you might want to do a little experiment and see how often people divert their attention to their phones.

On creativity in scientific research

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on”
– Albert Einstein
  • Being in the lab long hours, does not make you more creative.
  • Throwing brute force at a problem can work but it is creative thinking?
  • Creative thinking does happen anywhere and anytime.
  • I found that some of the best ideas I had did not happen while at work…
  • Be ready to capture that great idea when it happen.
  • Do not censured yourself with possible practical limitation yet (money, engineering, theoretical limitation, …).
  • Brainstorming is great: to refine a good idea or to launch a creative process that will be completed after the session i.e. the best idea might not be obtained at the end of such session (I contend that it is almost never the case).
  • Once in a while, take time to explore your ideas more deeply to see if it sticks. Throw them at colleagues (see brainstorming above).
  • Store all of your ideas, even the weird ones, in a system (physical or digital) where you can go back at them once in while.

e-Office series!

The e-Office series now has a new home. All of the posts related to getting an efficient digital office workflow have been gather in single page. If you look at the menu-bar above you will find the dedicated button or you can simply click here 😉




Zotero on the go!

In the previous post I was describing the free Zotero scientific manuscript management software. Through a comment via this blog and others, I was pointed out that there are some solutions for access to your PDFs on the go.

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Invest in a good manuscript (PDF) management system

If, as starting graduate students, you are following my first key advice of reading on a regular basis scientific manuscripts related to your field of research in general and your project in particular, you’ve probably reach an obvious observation:  you are collecting a large number of PDF files very quickly.

There are, of course, a few more observations to be made:

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