Andrew Akbashev Profile picture
Independent PI. Doing fundamental research in #Materials and #Electrochemistry. Leading a subgroup at PSI in Switzerland. Ex-@Stanford. More on LinkedIn!
Mar 13 10 tweets 3 min read
Peter Higgs believes he would be regarded as “unproductive" in today’s academic system. He simply wouldn’t be able to “survive” in #science.

On his way to Stockholm to receive a Nobel Prize in 2013, he said the following in an interview to Guardian:

#AcademicTwitter #phdlife - He wouldn’t expect to make a breakthrough in today’s academia.

Why? Because expectations to "collaborate and keep churning out papers" are too high

"It's difficult to imagine how I would ever have enough peace and quiet in the present sort of climate to do what I did in 1964"
Feb 22 11 tweets 3 min read
The more I read recommendation letters, the less I want to rely on them.

Many people will disagree with me. But I will still say that:

#AcademicChatter #phdlife #research Image 1. Recommendation letters promote elitism.
“You are not from a famous advisor’s group..? Sorry, you don’t belong here.”

2. When poorly written, a recommendation letter devaluates the candidate.
“This student has such a dull reference… It’s clearly not for us.”
Feb 21 15 tweets 3 min read
Peer reviewing of manuscripts - is it THAT important as everyone thinks?

I thought of writing this post later, but Nature has catalyzed me to do it now.

Their article mentions the following important points:

#science #research #AcademicTwitter 1. The editor for Frontiers in Health Services sent out 150 (!) invitations to potential reviewers before he could receive 4 reviews. Only 1 was of sufficient quality. That is = 1/150!
Jan 16 11 tweets 3 min read
Scientists spend too much time taking “professional selfies”.

A paper from PNAS describes what it takes to be a scientist today. Key points (that I always emphasize myself):

#AcademicTwitter @AcademicChatter #research 1. Scientists have a new mode of activity: “being online”
- Constant distractions and external stimulation inhibit creativity and deep thinking
- “Thinking out of the box” has become rare because the Internet is itself a box.
Jan 6 10 tweets 3 min read
“Oh, really?” - a typical sarcastic reaction on social media.

However I urge to look at the original study and data more carefully. 👇

#phdchat #AcademicTwitter #research - A disruptive paper is defined here by the likelihood that this paper (and not the references inside it) will be cited by subsequent studies.

- In contrast, a consolidating paper is the one that is less likely to be cited than its predecessors. It consolidates the discovery.
Jan 3 7 tweets 2 min read
Yes, as a PI, you can publish more papers by pushing your students/postdocs really hard. But NO, those extra papers will not make your life better.

#science #research #AcademicTwitter They will just make everyone unhappier:
- Your team members will feel burned out and depressed
- Journal editors will feel like there’s another manuscript that no one is willing to review
Jul 4, 2022 16 tweets 4 min read
Advice for #PhD students who want to become postdocs and stay in #academia:
- How to choose a lab for a postdoc
- How to prepare for an interview
- What to be careful about

Thread: 🧵

[I was a happy postdoc at Stanford]

#AcademicTwitter #engineering #science Initial steps:

1. Decide on how far you want to move away from your PhD topic. Keep in mind:
- If your #postdoc research is distant, you will need more time to gain expertise and do competitive work
Jun 21, 2022 13 tweets 4 min read
PhD students don’t want to be postdocs. Faculties are leaving academia... Intriguing discussions are published by both Nature and Science.
Key points are:

#science #research #engineering #academia #PhD #AcademicTwitter 1. U.S.-based researchers reported challenges recruiting in all #STEM fields: “This year … we received absolutely zero response from our posting,” one wrote. “The number of applications is 10 times less than 2018-2019,” another wrote.