Saturday, June 20, 2009

Oh fuck it's on...

War has come to my laboratory, and although the root of the problem is my advisor's lack of boundaries regarding data and research ideas the blame is (of course) being slung about among the original parties of the problem (2 research associates) and the gossipy idiots that egg-on the people involved.

It all began in a groupmeeting. Research assistant 1 (RA1) gave a groupmeeting in which he discussed crystallographic data and some subsequent analysis of it. The problem? That crystal data was gathered by RA2, and the idea for the analysis was his as well. RA2 had not been notified and had not given permision for anyone else to use that data. Scooping someone else with their own data in the same lab = not cool.

RA1 is a young American, and RA2 is a senior researcher that had already retired from his professorship at the university of his country, and has been working under my PI for many years. His move to this "lower" position was mostly done to provide better opportunities for his kids . RA1 is from a segment of the lab that believes that RA2 doesn't know jack, and that everything RA2 does has to be, by extension, trivial and easy to do. This, of course, ends up showing in the interactions RA1 and RA2 have while working on a collaborative project. A lot of the projects in my lab overlap, exacerbating the 'lack of boundaries' problem our PI has.

After the groupmeeting, RA2 sent a very strong-worded email to RA1 stating that what he did was unethical, disrespectful, and illegal according to the university's code of conduct. RA1, instead of talking it out with the PI and RA2, proceeded to complain loudly and indignantly to everyone at the lab about the horrific and preposterous email he received from RA2.

And then everyone and their cousin had to stir the fucking pot.
An incredibly arrogant grad student went on to say that RA2 had to be 'put in his place'. A visiting scientist stated that all data belongs to the PI and he doesn't have to say anything to whomever acquired the data if he chose to share it (said visiting scientist almost scooped another labmate with her own data last year). RA3, who had serious issues with RA2 at the beginning of his post-doc in the lab, insisted they all go bitch about R2 to the PI with the hopes of having him let off.

Suddenly, when I didn't know anything of what was going on, RA3 and Arrogant Grad Student popped into my side of the lab, which is (due to my unwillingness to deal with their constant gossip, prejudices, and bitching) a very strange thing. They were trying to convince me of going to the PI to bitch about the problems I've had with RA2. I have made myself as scarce as possible after that.

Yesterday one of the non-gossipy grads, who shares the office with RA2, told me to skip the next groupmeeting because some serious shit was gonna happen. It's gonna be RA2' s groupmmeting. It's on and it's gonna be pretty bad.

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