So an alarming trend nowadays for a PI giving a talk is to slap a mugshot of the postdoc/student on the slide - I mean right next to the data. Typically this picture is on one corner of the slide, but it varies - sometimes the PI wants to convey his/her gratitude for their trainee so much that the picture is actually larger than the data...I mean MUCH larger.
Now I'm no expert here, but I have read that if humans are shown faces and something else, they always look at faces. So I can speak for myself that when I see such a slide I find it very difficult not to ponder upon every detail of the mugshot (such sad eyes...hmm...are those eyebrows....now that's some scar, wonder if he got it while biking etc....). By the time I'm done studying this remarkable face (blown up on a gigantic screen, mind you), not only have I missed the hugely important data that this mugshot apparently generated, but my focus on the seminar has also substantially diminished.
For PI's who have a burning desire to show a mugshot in middle of their talk, my suggestion is to NOT show the data on the same slide. Show the picture for a few seconds, then move on to a slide that has the data but no picture....PLEASE!
Some old ones Reposted...
8/18/13 - A Classification of PI's - find yours' in the list!
7/6/12 - Way to a "Science paper"
5/30/11 - 20/20 Hindsights
9/30/11 - Evolution of a bizzare, new Idea
11/17/2011 - Rationale for curiosty-driven research...
lessons from a 4 year old
1/28/12 - "GTFM" - hilarious article on grant writing!
The PI Blog
This blog exists because my wife seemed a bit tired of being the only recipient of my random pontifications on life and Science for many years; and gently encouraged me to vent in a blog instead. From time to time, I put down thoughts that occur to me as I naiively stumble through a life in Science - bestowed upon me by accident (literally!). Please keep in mind that these musings are rather obvious things of little or no use to anyone, and are certainly not personally targeted in any way, even though they are obviously derived from my experiences. OK, enough said.