Presing, G. et al
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” proclaimed Dr. Erik Gilmore, professor of genetics at Washington State University as he handed his PhD student Byron Kim his patented “lab advent calendar”. Every December, Dr. Gilmore fills an advent calendar with side experiment ideas for his students to perform in a last ditch effort to get a few more publications for the year.
“Not to toot my own horn, but I think it’s pretty genius,” said Dr. Gilmore. “Each day, a random student is chosen to pull an experiment from the advent calendar, which they then have to complete by the end of the week. We do this until Christmas Eve, where one lucky student actually gets to visit their family!”
“Then, depending on the number of accepted publications, I award the student a free coffee voucher for the cafeteria! I just love the season of giving.”
Despite Dr. Gilmore’s festive enthusiasm, members of the Gilmore lab are less than pleased about this tradition.
“I just think it’s kinda interesting that Dr. Gilmore isn’t included in the list of folks who participate in the advent calendar activities“ said one student, who asked to remain anonymous. “I mean, it’s just kinda funny that he gets to prance around the lab belting Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ while replacing the word ‘you’ with ‘a Nature publication’. Meanwhile I’m doing my tenth Western blot of the week. Yep. Kinda intriguing.”
Several students are considering transferring Dr. Weinberg’s lab, which does a similar, but shorter event for Hanukkah.