We strive to uphold these core values in all situations.

  1. Safety first. The physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing of my group members is my highest priority as the head of my group. One of the first things I tell a new lab member is that I would rather they break a $80,000 piece of equipment and stay safe than preserve the equipment and sustain a serious injury (of course, I would prefer they not break lab equipment). Put another way, “your experiments are important, but not nearly important as your life.”
  2. Inclusion. We welcome anyone who wishes to study with us (the Moran group includes high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs). We oppose discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, country of origin, disability, ethnicity, race, age, political views, and religious views.
  3. Curiosity. Curiosity is the raw fuel that drives our research forward. I frequently remind group members that so-called “dumb questions” are not only permitted, they are encouraged. I strive to create an atmosphere where diversity is encouraged, not only in terms of the lab members, but also in terms of ideas.
  4. Healthy skepticism. We question our own and others’ assumptions, welcome opposing viewpoints, and insist on supporting arguments with evidence.
  5. Gradatim ferociter. Roughly translated as “step-by-step, vigorously,” this saying embodies the high standards of scientific rigor upheld in our group, paying attention to the small details of our work, and avoidance of corner-cutting.