Networking and building the community

One of the great things about attending Biophysical Society is reconnecting with so many people!  This is the first one I’ve attended since starting my tenure track, so I’m feeling reflective about the intensity of the post-graduation/pre-tenure-track stretch, and my gratitude to my network here. I particularly wanted to highlight that one’s network goes far beyond mentors and collaborators.

1) It’s conversations at posters.  Even if we’re too busy to follow up, we head home stimulated and energized by the reminder that other people also get geeky excited about the problems we spend so much time and energy on.  We get constructive feedback from critical questions and challenges.

2) It’s helping to connect colleagues of ours who’ve never met–helping our colleagues do more science and do it better.

3) It’s meeting people’s students and helping them along their paths, whether that’s clarifying technical questions, thinking about thesis projects, or deciding on careers or finding a postdoc position.

4) It’s welcoming new attendees to Biophysical Society, sharing what we’ve learned (e.g. it’s a good idea to stay near your poster even outside your scheduled time =).

The takeaway?  Cooperative, non-specific interactions aren’t just for molecular biophysics!

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