February 5, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

Complete News World

column |  War speeds everything up

column | The Tyrant at the Sub-Peak soon has a personnel problem

I want to tell you about the book I’m reading. Not only because you need to know what it contains, but also because it offers the possibility to cover it in one column on both biochemistry and The world goes on Besides casually impressing you with the great literature I take for myself.

The book is called adapterwritten by Nick Lane, a British professor at University College London, a true masterpiece of the Krebs cycle, also known as the citric acid cycle. This molecular spinner is the basis of all life on Earth. A word of caution: this is a read for the serious reader. Not a nice read novel with nonsense about love or life or attitudes about crime and punishment and war and peace. You have to sit for this. But those who persevere are rewarded with a deep insight into what lies below the foundation of our existence.

Lin also tells the stories of the scientists who cleaned up the course. Hans Krebs, for example. Krebs conducted research first in the German laboratory of Otto Warburg, who maintained strict discipline and allowed his people minimal freedom to develop their own ideas. Lane describes how Krebs fled Germany and joined the laboratory of British biochemist Frederick Hopkins in England.

There he was amazed by the cultural differences. Hopkins created a happy and free hierarchical work environment. He gathered around himself a group of “non-fanatical” scientists who worked as they wanted. Among them are some geniuses like JBS Haldane and “uncontrollable” women like Marjorie Stephenson. They’ve written their own lab journal with poetry, cartoons, and stories, and they’ve also made some discoveries—some of which will win a Nobel Prize.

Great scientific successes were achieved both in loose, humorous England and authoritarian Germany. The Champions League so to speak. For all those still convinced that a little CEO humiliation is part of it and that it is understandable that there are occasional loud boos in the face of editors, young gymnasts, or apprentice chefs, it pays to look to all those leaders who prove otherwise.

This type of behavior is associated with excellent environments on top because of an army of enthusiasts willing to replace dropouts, while a sub-top tyrant has a personnel problem quickly. So it pays for any executive in such an environment to look around every once in a while and make sure that he/she hasn’t become a huge asshole by mistake. If this is the case, it is important to get children’s tantrums under control as soon as possible. There are courses for that.

Reading Hopkins Lab, I wondered if there were any work environments where there was no shouting, but where creativity was curtailed in other ways — by planning, structuring, standardizing, and recording a lot. It can be different. Like the Hopkins lab, the research and development division of US telecom monopoly AT&T was marked by a lack of rules. Known as Bell Labs, this department has produced an endless string of triumphs, including IT, transistors, lasers, and a few other fun gadgets and trinkets like CCD chips and cosmic microwave background radiation.

In a recent article in the scientific journal nature, which I’ve sent to nearly every executive friend, lists the ingredients for that success. The first condition: a long-term vision and stable financing. Plus, it was mainly a matter of bothering smart people as little as possible with schedules, deadlines, goals, meetings, or progress reports.

Moral of the story: Both cultures work. Germans, British, hierarchists and anarchists. You can only be nice. And rise to great heights.

Roseanne Hertzberger He is a microbiologist.

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