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The March for Science: Can and should politics be absent?

eventLogo_MarchForScience

Since the crowning of the current US administration, the scientific community in the US has not only been reeling from the proposed cuts to almost every type of scientific research in this country, but also from the quandary of what to do about it. Scientists have been all over the map, embracing everything from encouraging active scientists to ru Continue reading

Posted in #MarchforScience, education, March for Science, Occam, Research, science, scientists, truth, US | Leave a comment

Weather with you

I, for one, welcome our robot overlords

Even before we moved to Gravesend, we knew of its “dodgy thermometer” from the weather forecasts on TV and radio. Gravesend was consistently the warmest place in the country, bucking the nation’s trends by a degree Celsius or two.

In our first year here we realized that this was no meteorological fantasy; we soon came to recogniz Continue reading

Posted in code, Friday afternoon, html, Me, met office, personal, weather | Leave a comment

Success does not preclude Humanity

Mental health on campus is frequently in the news. It is widespread, as it is within just about every other sector. If you haven’t suffered from a period of depression yourself, it is almost inevitable you know someone who has or who has other mental health issues such as bipolar disorder. Yet those you know about probably only represent the tip of Continue reading

Posted in depression, Meaning of Success, Science Culture, support, Women in science | Leave a comment

The March for Science: advocacy masterstroke or PR misfire?

Last night made my way to an upstairs room at The Castle pub near Farringdon to participate in a debate organised by Stempra on the forthcoming March for Science.

March for Science debate
The panel (Photo by Anastasia Stefanidou)

The question before the panel and the assembled audience was whether the call to arms, first issued by scientists in the USA but now heard and a Continue reading

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Making the most of our ASSET’s

When it comes to the reality of what it’s really like for women in academic science, it is always useful to have evidence up one’s sleeve to make a point as well as merely be able to relate anecdotes, personal or otherwise. The recent report on the 2016 ASSET survey  provides just such concrete evidence to bolster arguments around Athena Swan actio Continue reading

Posted in ASSET2016, HeforShe, Hong Kong, SAGE Australia, Science Culture, Sydney, Women in science | Leave a comment

Making the most of our ASSET’s

When it comes to the reality of what it’s really like for women in academic science, it is always useful to have evidence up one’s sleeve to make a point as well as merely be able to relate anecdotes, personal or otherwise. The recent report on the 2016 ASSET survey  provides just such concrete evidence to bolster arguments around Athena Swan actio Continue reading

Posted in ASSET2016, HeforShe, Hong Kong, SAGE Australia, Science Culture, Sydney, Women in science | Leave a comment

When Your PhD Goes Wrong

There is no point pretending that research often doesn’t pan out the way one hopes and dreams about. All kinds of things can go wrong in both the short and long term, and these are not always your own fault (although sometimes they are). I have been reflecting on this aspect of a researcher’s life during a week being spent about as far away from Ca Continue reading

Posted in electron microscopy, failure, Research, Science Culture, scoop | Leave a comment

R2R – the Researcher to Reader conference

The R2R conference took place back in late February. It is an event more dominated than others (46%) by publishers – those on the business, strategy, and marketing side of the publishing industry. Smaller numbers come from libraries (15%), technology (12%) and consulting (10%). It attracts high-profile speakers (with interesting things to say) from Continue reading

Posted in Copyright and IP, Journal publishing, Open Access | Leave a comment

Back to the cranes

Although it feels almost treason-like to momentarily hold my tongue and write a blog about unrelated to the war being waged on science and truth in the US, the annual crane-fest is as good a reason as any to distract oneself with nature’s wonders.

IMGP8116

The sandhill cranes at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary

It’s been over Continue reading

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Back in the USSR

Last time I was here, I made a comment about how I hoped things were going to get less busy.

U!S!A!

Yeah… that didn’t work out too well.

Continue reading
Posted in Brexit, Me, Nonsense, personal, Spring, Washington, work | Leave a comment

Being Media-Savvy

I’m a great believer in media training, but the reality is that it isn’t as simple as ‘one size fits all’. Any training will no doubt help confidence and maybe point out your good and bad traits, but how to deal with a media interview about your latest paper in Science is very different from how to handle a Paxman style interrogation about some con Continue reading

Posted in Communicating Science, Gwyneth Williams, jim Al Khalili, Referendum, Science Culture, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, The Life Scientific | Leave a comment

Grim resolve at the House of Commons on the scientific priorities for Brexit

On Tuesday morning last week MPs, MEPs, and representatives of various organisations with a stake in post-Brexit UK science gathered in the Churchill Committee room at the House of Commons for the launch of  the “Scientific priorities for Brexit” report, published by Stephen Metcalfe MP, chair of the Commons select committee on science Continue reading

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Why Lazy Stereotyping is Damaging

I was very pleased to hear a male academic referred to as ‘not a shrinking violet’ the other day. Not because I was feeling particularly vindictive towards the person concerned, but because I have always thought that this unpleasant phrase was one reserved for women. It’s certainly one that’s been tossed in my direction often enough. I think I feel Continue reading

Posted in Angela Saini, Cordelia Fine, Equality, IOP, Women in science | Comments Off on Why Lazy Stereotyping is Damaging

Science, art and Art

This past week I was fortunate once again to be invited to the award ceremony of the Wellcome Image Awards. Each time I go I tell myself I will submit an entry for the following year, but somehow I never manage to find the time. I suspect my time may now have run out because the standard of entries is so high.

The competition is often dominated by Continue reading

Posted in Science & Art, Wellcome Image Awards | Comments Off on Science, art and Art

Back to the Middle Ages

The current administration under the direction of Trumph has published a new budget proposal for 2018 discretionary spending. It does not take a Ph.D. in economics to realize that aside from a huge 54 billion dollar increase to the military (and with the exception of Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs), all of the domestic departments have been Continue reading

Posted in budget, cuts, National Institutes of Health, NIH, president, Research, science, Trump | Comments Off on Back to the Middle Ages