On one of the walls of the Royal Institution in London is the following quote:
“Science may never come up with a better office communication system than the coffee break” – Earl Wilson
Coffee breaks are not just a good source of information in office communication, but also in science communication. In the mid-nineties, Swiss art curator Hans Ulrich Obrist organized a conference for artists and scientists in which the entire conference program was replaced with one big coffee break. He had noticed that at a conference, the interesting discussion happen during the coffee breaks – not necessarily at the presentations themselves.
We’d like you to think of the Node as a way to spend your coffee breaks. As you’re reading papers or doing experiments, you learn a lot about the science of developmental biology, but not so much about the scientists. To get the latest news about funding or hear which meeting you might want to attend next, to find out the day-to-day practices of other labs or hear some entertaining stories from the field, you need to get up from behind the bench and talk to people. With the Node, you don’t even have to get up anymore: you can roll your chair over to your laptop, and visit the site. Once you’re all caught up and ready to get back to work, you can catch up on recent papers using the table of contents of developmental biology journals listed in the sidebar.
As with any coffee break conversation, you’re not just listening to others speaking, but you can have your say as well. If you create an account on the Node, we’ll then make you an author of the site, and you can add you own posts. Have a look at the help page for more information, and feel free to ask us any questions.