Have you ever been afraid to report a safety incident in your lab—to your PI or otherwise? Have you ever watched in dismay as a more senior student made some questionable decisions in the lab? Or, maybe, you yourself have experienced some close calls or even straight up exposures. These issues are all too common, and like many things, they won’t change unless we band together and change them ourselves.
We are the Joint Research Safety Initiative, also known as the JRSI. We are a group of real researchers in the Department of Chemistry and the Institute for Molecular Engineering (update: it’s now called the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering!) at the University of Chicago, and are seeking to improve our safety culture outside of administrative punishments in a way that works in real labs. We want you to care about your research, to care about the people around you, and to care about your self.
And, well, if we all happen to get some food and SWAG along the way, then so be it!