A little over a year ago, students petitioned the Harvard Medical School (HMS) administration requesting a student lounge that would give Ph.D. and M.D. students and postdocs a place to mix, mingle, and share ideas. On June 6, the Joseph Martin Student Lounge, the renovated and repurposed common room of Vanderbilt Hall, was officially commemorated and made available to students. Named after the dean of HMS for his efforts in helping to create the facility, the lounge is now equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV and bar, along with couches and plush high-backed chairs.
Describing her hopes for the lounge, HMS research fellow in microbiology and molecular genetics Ashlee Earl commented, “Science is a really fun and interactive thing,” noting how James Watson and Francis Crick first hashed out the structure of DNA on a napkin in a bar. Thanking the students for their innovation and for honoring him, Martin acknowledged the importance of ensuring that different types of students share ideas. “This is a community where everyone gains from learning from each other,” the dean said.
– Rebecca Tinkelman