Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Lab is In Your Hands!

This is so awesome.

It is The Lab: a set of little training movies from the Office of Research Integrity of the Department of Health and Human Services, in which you get to make key choices for any (or all!) of four characters involved in a case of research misconduct in a lab.

You can follow, and place yourself in the shoes of, a grad student, postdoc, or principal investigator in a lab, or the Research Integrity Officer for the university. The idea is that you get to make choices for the characters that will have good or bad results within the story.

The bad ending? Research misconduct is discovered, there's a lot of negative media coverage, donors withdraw funding, and the PI is fired, leaving everyone in his lab jobless and forever tainted by the scandal. Avoid this ending!

The production quality is quite good, for a training video. They have decent actors, and spend a little time giving the characters backgrounds and details. I was kind of getting into the story, and I don't even work in a lab, or know anything about working in a lab.

Now I want to make similarly wonderful training videos about PubMed searching in the library!

In the bad ending, the student fails to find any good information and gives a terrible presentation, resulting in shocked silence followed by shunning, lest the taint of bad literature searching wear off on the student's peers.

I saw this wonder on Take it to the Bridge.