A Scientist's Guide to Large Projects and Collaborations
160 pp., 6 x 9 in, 14 b&w illus.
- Published: February 27, 2024
- Publisher: The MIT Press
All the crucial skills scientists need to make a professional transition into large projects and collaborations that require governance and project management.
Modern science increasingly tackles ambitious projects whose size and complexity require an equally ambitious coordination of efforts, schedules, and resources. In Going Big, Harvard Professor and Dean of Science Christopher Stubbs provides the essential resource for scientists who are ramping up the scale of their scientific enterprises and working within the various hierarchies and sociologies of large scientific teams. An experienced project scientist, Stubbs focuses on technical project management for the construction of large facilities, instruments, and software development, and guides both junior and established scientists on how to work in big, structured collaborations.
Stubbs supplements scientists' formal training in their fields with the logistical, sociological, and strategic knowledge they need to tackle modern science's increasingly ambitious projects, from matters of risk, cost, and performance to the issues of budgeting, scheduling, and human relations. Chapters address technical documentation, risk mitigation, tracking progress and milestones; health, safety, and environmental considerations; and ways to be an effective team member and defuse interpersonal conflicts. Scaffolded with real-world advice and suggestions for success, Going Big covers the lifecycle of large projects to equip scientists worldwide, at every stage of their career.
“Want to change the world? Stubbs shows how it's done in big science, with advice for those with courage and persistence. We all learn on the job, but this will help!”
John Mather, Nobel Prize in Physics, 2006; former Senior Project Scientist, James Webb Space Telescope
“Research increasingly involves big collaborations developing novel facilities/instruments—pushing technology frontiers, with associated risk. Christopher Stubbs's unique book is a must-read for any scientist planning or joining the adventure.”
J. Anthony Tyson, Professor, University of California Davis; Founding Director, LSST/Rubin Observatory
“Going Big is sure to be the holy writ for scientists trying to plan out (and fund) huge collaborative projects. It is clear, concise, and, dare I say it, fun to read!”
Jeff Lichtman, Jeremy R. Knowles Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University