Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Lab Notebook - a questionnaire


The lab notebook

Ah, the good old fashion lab notebook.  At the beginning of the semester it was the picture of order with its sharp corners and that new paper smell - blank, empty and ready to accept all my new ideas.  By the end of the semester, it was dogeared, stained with some combinations of chemicals and pizza grease and full of the realizations and insights that made me who I am now.  When I was in school it was an elemental tool in the pursuit of scientific truth.  Experimentation without a lab notebook was unthinkable.  It was elemental for anyone considering a technical field.

The thing is that was then; before computers and tablets and smartphones and sensors were everywhere... back when math was hard because you had to do the calculations yourself - by hand.  Now we have tools that have profoundly changed the way that we approach science and technology.  Computers record and graph data for us.  Tablets and phones are in our pockets at all times to record notes and even take pictures.  With all these changes, what has become of the venerable lab notebook?  Is it still a staple?  Is it gone completely?  Has it evolved?

We at Digital Diner have decided that we would like to find out what you think of the role of the good old lab notebook.  If you are in a scientific or technical field, we'd love it if you would take just a few minutes (probably < 10 min) to fill out our questionnaire and also to ask your friends to do the same.  It would be a huge help for us in our pursuit knowledge and an understanding of the state of the lab notebook.


Pass it on - Please ask your friends to fill out the questionnaire too... 
It's quick.  It's easy.  It's for the good of citizen science!