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Pre-Event Keynote talk


Which departmental events have the best unguarded free food?  How can you convincingly fudge data and feign progress?  And why have you committed to spending the best years of your life without sunlight?  Adam Ruben (PhD!) answers all of these questions in his book, Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School.


Like you, Adam Ruben once decided to enroll in grad school.  He quickly realized the experience was not what he’d imagined it would be.  Adam spent seven years in the Biology Department at Johns Hopkins University, working on malaria drugs that will never benefit humanity, publishing papers that no one will ever read, teaching classes no one remembers, and stealing bagels from seminars he didn’t attend.


This talk will review the low points and, well, lower points of post-baccalaureate education.  Adam will discuss his own grad school experience, read excerpts from the book, and field questions from the audience.  If someone points out how much better PhD programs are in Europe, Adam may cry.


After the talk, Adam will try to sell you a book.  Since you’re such a nice person, you’ll buy several.




Dr. Adam Ruben obtained his PhD in molecular biology at Johns Hopkins University testing potential new malaria drugs. At the same time, he spent his nights performing as a stand-up comic, which he continues to do alongside his work at a biotech company called Sanaria Inc. This company is dedicated to the production of a malaria vaccine.

Learn more: [click here]