I gave this presentation (slides + notes) at the Dutch postdoc retreat on June 25 2009. I was asked to talk about my move from a PhD in cell biology to running your own software company. I decided that telling my specific story wouldn't be very interesting to all, instead I tried to distill the 10 lessons I learned to help people understand science and decide whether they should stay or leave science. A version without notes is also available. Big thanks to Matt Wood for his slides design.
Text of Playing Pyramid Games + Notes
1. Playing Pyramid Games Alexander Griekspoor
2. 1 Whats a pyramid game? This is an ad from the 1930s.
3. Money 1 Air 10 The guy tries to sell air to 10 of his friends, who give him money.
4. Money 1 Air 10 More Money Thin Air 100 Who sell it each to 10 more friends in exchange for more money.
5. Money 1 Air 10 More Money Thin Air Loads of 100 Very Thin Money Air 1000 Image source: wikipedia article on Madoff Recently shown how dangerous it is by a guy called Madoff who almost single handedly brought the whole banking industry to the ground.
6. PI Postdoc You! Graduate Student The pyramid seems familiar doesnt it? Science is exactly the same. Instead of money the layer above gets citations in exchange for a lot of promises and wishful thinking. And this is where you are.
7. Science == Pyramid Game If science is a pyramid game, how do we understand it? What we need is some game theory.
8. Game Theory Typically in game theory you start out with describing the game, which we just did, and then you analyse different strategies, trying to understand the system and choices the games players make.
9. 10 rules that made me understand Science 3 or 4 years ago I was sitting somewhere in the audience, exactly like a few of you for sure. Now Im doing something completely different. In between Ive learned a lot. Here are the 10 rules of the game that made me understand science.
10. ...and step out of it. ...and step out of it. I hope it will help some of you to make the same big choice.
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Any translation of this License is done for local requirements and in the event of a dispute between the English and any First a disclaimer. This presentation is highly opinionated. You might disagree. I kind of hope you do at times. Still, please ask questions at end, Ill try to keep it not too long to allow for discussion. Ill be around later as well, Id be happy to hear your point of you or convince me Im wrong and should see things differently.