• Question: How many years did it take for people to trust you with information that they are handling??

    Asked by 07kearneyl to Vicki, Keith, Hywel, Emma, Alastair on 21 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Alastair Sloan

      Alastair Sloan answered on 18 Jun 2010:

      Great question. When we use human tissue we have to get them to sign a consent form and tell them all about the project. Importantly we don’t get any information about their medical history so all we know is their age and a reference number. The nurses on clinic can find out who donated that particular piece of tissue as they know to which patient the reference number is linked, but the guys in the lab don’t. This makes is doubly safe for the patient and their information as it never reaches the lab. I have found that if you talk with patients when asking for a tissue sample and explain fully what the project is and treat them as intelligent people then they trust you and will donate willingly. All this is done under a code of ethics which we have to apply for and a special committee looks at the ethical application and decides if it is acceptable.

    • Photo: Keith Brain

      Keith Brain answered on 18 Jun 2010:

      Do they trust us now? I don’t know, but all even modestly-important scientific papers (which we try to have published to communicate our work to other people) go through a process of “peer review”, where other scientists read your paper very carefully, make careful comments on it, ask for further clarification about things they’re not sure about, and make a recommendation to a scientific journal about whether or not it should be published.

      I was an author on a scientific paper the first year I started in science research, while I was still an undergraduate student:

      Sheppard, C.J.R., Gu, M., Brain, K.L. and Zhou, H. (1994) “Influence of spherical aberration on axial imaging of confocal reflection microscopy,” Applied Optics 33:616-624

      However, I was working with other scientists who had much more experienced, and that must have helped the reviews trust the data. The scientific papers on which I was the “lead” or most experienced author weren’t until 2006-8 (there’s a bit of a grey line there). So, much of the trust builds by showing that you can work with other scientists, and they are willing to trust you; this can take years.

    • Photo: Vicki Stevenson

      Vicki Stevenson answered on 18 Jun 2010:

      In my first job, I took over the equipment I was responsible for within 6 months. From then, my interpretation of the information from that equipment was trusted. Scientists know that some big decisions can be made based on their information so they’re pretty careful to make sure it’s right.

    • Photo: Emma Carter

      Emma Carter answered on 18 Jun 2010:

      When I went back to uni to do a PhD I was offered a job after 18months so I suppose they trusted me then! I think you can prove yourself trustworthy quite quickly in a job if you are honest, careful and hardworking

    • Photo: Hywel Vaughan

      Hywel Vaughan answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      That’s a good question Kearney,
      Luckily for me I work in a very small team, doing a very complex job – we HAVE to trust each other. When you are designing and building something that is as challenging and possibly dangerous as a 1000mph car, you need to trust that the information you are being given is correct, and work with people to reach the correct solution.
      I trust all of the people I work with, and hopefully they trust me 😀