Latest posts

Science Funding from Europe and Commissioner Moedas

I went to Brussels this week for a Plenary meeting of the European Research Council’s Scientific Council. It was a strange week to go. As I sat on Eurostar and stared out at the passing countryside I strongly felt, what am I doing here, do I belong, why will they want to see me and, perhaps most strongly, WHAT HAVE WE DONE? As a scientist I was one Continue reading

Posted in Brexit, ERC, funding, Research, Science Funding | Leave a comment

Important conversations and confusing journals

A few weeks back I was a roomful of senior librarians, having Important Conversations about Publishers (ICP). More recently I sat and listened to a number of ICPs at the UKSG Conference – bookended by talks from Ann Rossiter and Cameron Neylon, each with important things to say to publishers.  So far so momentous: the tectonic plates of schol Continue reading

Posted in Journal publishing, Scientific literature | Leave a comment

In which I snap

OCD Antibody Box

I’m not a neat freak or anything, at home or in the lab, but sometimes, enough is enough. Behold the new arrangement of our lab’s stash of fluorochrome-conjugated secondary antibodies. Is it not a thing of beauty?

Continue reading
Posted in Research, Scientific thinking, Silliness | Leave a comment

Graduation into Uncertainty

Graduation. That rite of passage that indicates the student moves on into the wider world. This past week has seen many hundreds of Cambridge undergraduates pass through the Senate House and emerge with their BA’s (or other appropriate degree(s)). So many students graduate each year, each presented individually with the correct – one hopes – Latin Continue reading

Posted in Brexit, Equality, EU Referendum, michael gove | Leave a comment

Father’s Day

One of the few issues on which my parents both took the same, apparently unwavering and absolute position was that of the sanctity of the secret ballot. Vote, my father said. No vote, no voice, he said. People died for your right to vote, he said. If you don’t vote, he said, don’t complain. Continue reading
Posted in Life, Mock Election, Referendum | Leave a comment

Forgetting Compassion

Last Thursday I sat next to the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Mark Walport, at a College dinner. We discovered we were exact contemporaries in Cambridge, both coming up in 1971 to a world utterly different from the one we found ourselves in that day. In 1971 there was a spirit of optimism loose, at least in the circle I inhabited. We w Continue reading

Posted in diversity, ERC, EU, Jo Cox, minority, Remain | Leave a comment

We’re #1 with “Saving One!”

It’s been a crazy 30 days since I submitted my LabLit novel, “Saving One,” to Amazon Kindle’s new publishing program, Kindle Scout. I would like to

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 10.49.03 AM

Saving One is #1 in HOT & TRENDING!

Continue reading
Posted in Amazon, Ethics, Hot and Trending, kidney, kindle, Kindle Scout, lab lit, Lablit, medical ethics, medical thriller, polycystic kidney disease, Research, science, suspense, twins | Leave a comment

2015 Top Ten

I know it’s already halfway through June, but here are my ten favourite photographs of 2015, in no particular order. Strangely, no motorsports made the list, unless you count the tractor.

1. November – Ascot Royals at First Canadian Place, Toronto
Ascot Royals @FCP, Toronto
One of a number of lunchtime concerts that I photographed at First Canadian Place. Continue reading

Posted in Hobbies, Photography, sports | Leave a comment

In Memoriam

In Memoriam

A few weeks ago I was reading Anne Marie Slaughter’s book Unfinished Business. This book builds on an Atlantic article she wrote about why she quit working for Hilary Clinton to return to engage more fully in her family life and it had obviously struck a chord with many readers. This book expands on her thesis that attitudes towards car Continue reading

Posted in Anne Marie Slaughter, mothers, Nigel Clarke, Science Culture, Women in science | Leave a comment

Common sense policies to promote reproducibility in science

The ability of scientists to reproduce published experimental data from other laboratories is the foundation for all scientific advance. Indeed, the whole point of publishing is to educate other scientists (and the public in general) and to build a scaffold of information that will allow others, immediately or at some indeterminate time in the futu Continue reading

Posted in ASBMB, ASCB, biomedical research, data, experimental design, Journal of Biological Chemistry, materials, methods, Molecular Biology of then Cell, National Institutes of Health, papers, post publication review, pretend peer review, reproducibility, Research, Scam, science, scientific publishing | Leave a comment

The Wandering Jew

IMGP7954New view from our back deck. The path around the lake is precisely 1 mile.

Condemned to eternally wander from place to place? I guess that could describe my life. Continue reading

Posted in home, omaha, science, Wandering Jew | Leave a comment

Letters from Europe

This weekend’s Guardian has a quite wonderful feature comprised of letters to Britain from European writers about the decision to be made in the upcoming referendum. It offers a fresh and little-heard perspective on a debate that has become worn out and embittered over the past few weeks. I urge you to read it

What you will read is that every con Continue reading

Posted in international | Leave a comment

How to look at Art?

I was sneered at on Twitter yesterday for sneering at people taking pictures of the Impressionist paintings on display at the Musée D’Orsay in Paris.


Fair enough perhaps. I had adopted an exaggerated version of the pontifical tone that comes so readily when composing tweets and not everyone saw the funny side. Continue reading

Posted in Science & Art | Comments Off on How to look at Art?

Would you like fries with that ? (my time at the wonderful world of Wendy’s

I graduated from high school in 1986. I was 18, I had a job and a $600 Chevy Chevette and was living in an apartment with (too many) other folks and wasn’t going to University. I was gainfully employed at a wage of $3.35 per hour at the fast-food paradise Wendy’s, where the clockin/clockout culture ensured you didn’t get paid wh Continue reading

Posted in Wendy's, Western Sizzlin' steakhouse, working poor | Comments Off on Would you like fries with that ? (my time at the wonderful world of Wendy’s