Prof. Chow-Yang Lee | The importance of networking



Speaker: Chow-Yang Lee (Professor and Endowed Presidential Chair in Urban Entomology Board Certified Entomologist-Urban & Industrial) – Google Scholar

Notetaker and annotations: Dasapta Erwin Irawan (Faculty of Earth Sciences and Technology) – ORCID | Scholia

Recording link

Advice for individuals

  • Menthorship is very importance, it would shape up junior researchers to look up the senior researchers. -> my comment: I would agree with this, with additional comment, that there’s a chance that senior researcher may pass down false advice and examples to junior researchers.
  • How to be critical is essential, not for assessing research plan/proposal, also for other academic purposes. It’s important for junior researchers to find their own niche and not to living in her/his supervisor’s or mentor’s shadow.
  • To be consistent and focus on a specific research is very much needed in every researcher’s mind. This may lead to the ability to identify and bringing up local problems, in this case, cockroach as domestic pest, is a skill to be developed in every junior researcher. But the speaker was also point out the willingness to transcend to other fields.
  • Planning what we see in ourselves in the future would be essential, and to take every chance to grow -> comment: although I think this step is essential, but for an early career researcher to take a chance to grow abroad is a very thin line between the motivation for self-improvement with lacking chance to serve the nation. According to the speaker, given to his situation during the time, he chose to take the chance to go abroad, to take post doc in the US (Self-serving vs nation-serving motivation).
  • Always explain your research wholeheartly to others, because we wouldn’t know the people that might improve our future. This may lead to our needs to setting the level to global playing field by producing more papers, etc mainstreams opinion in setting global recognition -> my comment: again this would be a thin line between selfishness (the speaker mentioned this in his relationship with his family) with giving out benefits to society.
  • Getting a grant from company. You must have a good reputation, produce peer review papers, to be noticed by company -> my comment: there’s a potential to have conflict of interests.
  • The speaker said that he felt inferior` because his only training were only from Malaysia -> my comments: this inferiority feeling due to only getting local trainings should be washed down completely as it would be one of the mentality of post-colonized nation. The inferiority may lead to more essential thing.
  • If you getting to work more than normal people and also over the weekends then you're in the right track -> my comments: I would argue that this is relevant. Actually I’m secheduled to share my opinion about this matter in Melbourne-based Voices of Academia podcast.
  • To be able to succeed, you need to have an effort. Two books about Grit and Ikigai are essential. -> my comments: Although I may not agree with some of the speaker’s point on the necessity of hard core working ethos, but I am very much agree with perseverance and grit. We need to have it in our work and passion.
  • Take the sabbatical if your institution offers the program.
  • Choose your collaborator or network wisely. Set up a google scholar and researchgate profile and use social media. The speaker also mentioned the importance to have and to have a good link/relationship with students -> my comments: again although I would agree with this, but the speaker only referring to personal gain. My other comment would be networking is a natural process. If people see you as a person that would contribute to their work, then you will get a node of network. If other people also see it, then you will get more nodes. Collaboration is about give and take. People won't work with you if they sense selfishness.
  • Many researchers in the west don't use scopus or webofscience. They mostly use google scholar and researchgate because both are free services. -> my comments: what!!! if the rich researchers are very price sensitive, then why we the poor researchers are conversely not?
  • MoU and MoA are just pieces of paper. The outputs are more important. But such docs can be important to rule out intellectual properties -> my comments: can’t agree more.
  • Do the good science and take the initiative (eg: starting a communication, engage in a communication, organize a meeting/conference/symposium if needed). -> my comments: very much agree with this.

Advice for institutions

  • Minute 1:08:00 was about the institution.
  • Must focus on uniquenesses (that only occur in ITB) and develop them. Don’t try to cover many things.
  • Facilitate young researchers to develop themselves by providing research grant, sabbatical, etc.
  • Nurture talented students/staffs.
  • Visiting prof program is also important.
  • Recruiting the right talents. Only recruit Phds and/or someone who has done postdocs. Tenure position after 5-7 years of probation -> my comments: I would argue with this as different country has different problem.

About the author

My current focus is how to provide the hydrostratigraphy of volcanic aquifers in Bandung area. The research is based on environmental isotope measurement in groundwater and morphometry. My work consists of hydrochemical measurements. I am using multivariate statistical methods to provides more quantitative foundation for the analysis and more insight into the groundwater behavior, especially its interaction with surface water. I use open source apps like R and Python to do the job. In my spare time, I also have a side project to promote open science in Indonesia's research workflow. One of my current focus is promoting INARxiv, as the first preprint server of Indonesia ( and serving as ORCID and OSF ( ambassador. Research interest: Hydrochemistry, multivariate analysis, and R programming. Blog:, (