In academia, as in national defense, Michael Ibba told American Society for Microbiology annual meeting attendees that "there are ... unknown unknowns" — that is, things "we don't know we don't know," he said, quoting the former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. During a special session on career preparation, the Ohio State University's Ibba discussed some of the personal "unknown unknowns" he uncovered empirically during the course of his time as an assistant professor on the tenure track.

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