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Is The Lab Meeting The Key To Innovation?

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Author: GSBS | Category: Of Interest | November 17, 2016

In Steven Johnson's TED Talk, he explores the question of where good ideas come from. In his talk he mentions that lab meetings have provided scientists with crucial feedback which has been critical to the formation of great ideas. Do you agree with him? 

"When we think about the classic image of the scientist in the lab,we have this image -- you know, they're pouring over the microscope, and they see something in the tissue sample. And "oh, eureka," they've got the idea," Johnson said in the video. 

Citing research by researcher Kevin Dunbar, he mentioned that it was in fact the lab meeting which led to the great discovery or new finding because the lab meeting provides a "liquid network" which allows people to bounce ideas off one another. 

"Almost all of the important breakthrough ideas did not happen alone in the lab, in front of the microscope. They happened at the conference table at the weekly lab meeting, when everybody got together and shared their kind of latest data and findings,oftentimes when people shared the mistakes they were having,the error, the noise in the signal they were discovering. And something about that environment... leads to innovation."

Steven Johnson: Where good ideas come from

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