Getting scientists to take [safety] seriously

I know, I know, I said that I’d get the Safety Zone back on track and yet we still have no Friday round-up. Last Friday I was visiting SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Today, my computer got a new motherboard. (Also this summer: Family vacation. A work trip to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Minor surgery. Lice brought home from summer camp.) I have high hopes for next week, but we’ll see what comes of a certain court hearing on Wednesday.

In the meantime, I wanted to highlight this blog post by Janet Stemwedel at Doing Good Science: Getting scientists to take ethics seriously: strategies that are probably doomed to failure. Substitute “lab safety” for “ethics” and I think it’s pretty spot-on for safety training, too:

Segregating attention to [lab safety] in a workshop, class, or training session. Is [lab safety] something the entirety of which you can “do” in a few hours, or even a whole semester? That’s the impression scientific trainees can get from [a lab safety] training requirement that floats unconnected from any discussion with the people training them about how to be a successful scientist. Once you’re done with your training, then, you’re done — why think about [lab safety] again?

I’m looking forward to her follow-up post on training strategies that she thinks are more likely to work!

Author: Jyllian Kemsley

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