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Detailed review of: 

Survival Skills for Scientists





Imperial College Press, London




Federico Rosei and Tudor Johnston




Survival Skills for Scientists


Year of Publication


2006 and reprinted in 2007












Krishna B. Misra




Review published in IJPE , Vol. 6, No. 1,  January 2010, p. 88.

The book consists of 7 chapters as follows:




  4 Pages



  7 pages

Chapter 1

Basic Choices

 20 Pages

Chapter 2

Basics Strategies and Actions

 39 Pages

Chapter 3

The Game of Science

 29 Pages

Chapter 4

Acquiring and Using a Reputation

 37 Pages

Chapter 5

Communicating your Science

 39 Pages

Chapter 6

Cautionary Tales

 11 Pages

Chapter 7


 11 Pages


Bibliography and Further Reading

 32 Pages



   3 Pages


Acronyms and Funding Agencies

   9 pages



   2 Pages



   5 Pages


The authors of this book - one young scientist and the other an experienced and elderly professor - offer a recipe for young budding scientists who are in the stage of planning their own career in science and technology and wish to be successful in their profession.
9781860946417-Survival Skills for Scientists
The authors have very been thorough in their analysis and should be used as a guide book in formulating the objectives as well as the pathway to come up in one's professional goals and achievements. Actually the authors of the book have been greatly inspired by an earlier published book by Peter J. Feibelman(1), which is widely quoted throughout this book. The authors enunciate four basic laws for being successful. The zeroth law for survival in scientific career is to pay attention to one's scientific career, without which nothing is possible. Next, the first law is Know thyself, which means one should know his or her strengths and weaknesses so that they can be improved upon. The next law is Know thy tradecraft, which means writing papers and organizing seminars that people would like to read or hear. It is actually targeting other scientists. This will eventually lead to initiating contacts with others with an aim of advancing own professional ambitions. The third law is Know thy neighbours. In order to succeed with others in our interaction with them, we must pay attention to them so that we can do a better job of influencing them. The so-called neighbours are meant to include co-workers, supervisors, audience in seminar or conferences or simply readers of our papers, grant applications or job applications. The authors even indicate in this book how one can prepare his or her CV in the light of the context, it will be used, prepare applications for scholarships, research proposals for support etc. These traits will be also be useful, once we start directing or managing others' research. With these strategies, the authors counsel to plan ahead to do the best one can in the scientific career offering the well-intentioned advice, "do not plan just your scientific work; you should plan your career in science".

In brief, the important message of the book is to promote awareness of what can be the implications of pursuing a scientific career and by asking ourselves several career questions, equip us with a plan in advance to become successful in our professional career. The book is interspersed with several anecdotes and humour to make the reading more interesting. The reviewer feels that such a subject must be introduced as a credit course at the undergraduate or graduate level for all those who have chosen science, technology or engineering as their career since we simply do not want them to unsuccessful in their career. It will be a colossal waste of time and effort. (1) P.J. Feibelman, A Ph.D. is not Enough: A Guide to Survival in Science,

Krishna. B. Misra


Review published in the International Journal of Performability Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 2010, p. 88. 

This review was published in the International Journal of Performability Engineering, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 2010 issue on page 88.

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