FanPost

What Would Block Do?

Imagine that several years ago, Chancellor Block's cherished Medical Center hired a new professor as part of its Research Faculty. This professor came with an excellent publication record from a school back east and from the start of his career wanted to be a member of the UCLA faculty.

As often happens with new hires, it took a couple of years for this professor to set up his lab. He did not begin with the best graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, but he had a good knowledge of his field and his junior researchers developed excellent chemistry and work ethic. In just a few short years, the lab published many significant results in high-impact journals. These publications brought prestige to the lab, the professor, and the University, and resulted in a windfall of money to the University through successful grant applications.

In time, as happens in academia, this initial batch of graduate students and postdocs moved on to bigger and better things; many remained in academia and continue to stay at the forefront of their field. These researchers were replaced by more sought-after graduate students and postdocs, but unfortunately, the lab failed to replicate its earlier success.

Many of the new researchers seemed disinterested in the mission of the lab or the University. Some performed little to no research but were listed as paper co-authors anyway. Some failed to hold themselves accountable at conferences and went out partying the night before important podium presentations. One researcher in particular is alleged to have willfully sabotaged colleagues' experiments and bullied a promising young graduate student out of the lab. The professor through inaction allowed and enabled these behaviors.

Now, due to the stagnation of research, grants have failed to be renewed. Several researchers who left the lab have started to compile impressive publication records at other schools. On top of all of this, the (occasionally exaggerated) details of just how bad the lab environment was are coming out in JAMA and Science.

Imagine that everything described above has taken place. What would Block do?

He would be hounding the professor, inquiring as to how these things happened. He would be hounding the department chair, inquiring as to how the chair managed to let these things happen. He would be looking into other labs in the department to see how far the problems had spread. He would be at the forefront of dealing with the media backlash. He would be working around the clock to ensure that the legacy of the UCLA Medical Center remained untarnished.

Right?

Right?

<em>This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of BruinsNation's (BN) editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of BN's editors.</em>

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