When Uri Alon got stuck during his PhD, he felt unworthy of being called a scientist because he was never taught that scientists can get stuck. Science has an established culture that stigmatises emotional and subjective thoughts as non-science or threatening to science.
In this Opening Lecture from the EACR25 Congress, Uri Alon, Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, starts a conversation aiming to stop researchers from feeling isolated and change the culture of science to make it a more supportive environment.
The lecture includes a number of songs that Uri sings along to his guitar on stage (one improvised too!). They are incredibly catchy and we can see why Uri’s 2014 TED talk was so popular.
We highly recommended watching the whole fascinating lecture at the top of this page. However, we don’t blame you if you want to come back to listen to the songs (they’re so relatable!) so below you can find some handy shortcuts.
One of the greatest fears among academics is having someone publish the same research as you first, being ‘scooped‘. In this song Uri talks about his personal painful experiences of being scooped as a postdoc.
When you feel out of your depth and someone offers a helping hand, they can make a big impact on your mental well-being and whether you have positive or negative memories of your studies. Uri tells us the story of how he met Mike, a supportive postdoc when he began his PhD. [Note: sorry the video quality is a bit lower on this song. We did the best we could]
We all know that being a reviewer is a difficult and demanding task but that doesn’t stop the annoyance when you receive confusing and contradicting comments back on your paper as to why it won’t be published.