One of the great things about being the LabLit Guru™ is that I am constantly receiving interesting books to look over.
A stack of lab lit, yesterday – plus an intriguing hanger-on there at the bottom
One of the not-so-great things is that (A) I am always desperately behind on my reading, and (B) it doesn’t leave me time to read a Continue reading
I am often asked, what do College Masters do? Some people seem to think it is similar to being Warden of a Hall of Residence (i.e. sorting out broken light bulbs or disputes between neighbouring students), but it isn’t like that at all. As one of my fellow female Masters told me, it is a case of ‘setting a tone’, but even that sou Continue reading
A scientist is never off-duty, even in a fabulous Michelin-starred restaurant on Charlotte Street.
Spindle organization was never this tasty
I think pretty much anyone with a cell biology background would have seen what I saw in this rhubarb confection:
As my last post said, I have been sitting on a lot of committees recently and consequently reading a lot of references. I am pleased to observe that it has been the men round the table who have been complaining about the gendered tone of some of these letters, picking up both when a referee envisages a job in a very masculine way and so complains i Continue reading
How do you judge the worth of a researcher? In particular, can you tell how excellent she is by how quickly she gets from point A to point B in her career?
Old postdocs may not be as stale as they look
The funding bodies used to think speed was of the essence. Continue reading
I seem to have been sitting through a lot of committee meetings recently, of diverse kinds. Every committee meeting has its own dynamic – a grant-awarding meeting is very different in form from that of some sort of a departmental strategy group; a programme committee for a conference will differ from a student-liaison body. Nevertheless there Continue reading
One of the best arguments for supporting basic science is that serendipitous discoveries — those not necessarily outlined in a grant proposal — have always been key to scientific progress. Many of us who lobby for basic science like to use the wonderful example of penicillin, whose discovery was attributed to Alexander Fleming, who noti Continue reading
A year ago Cambridge University launched its book ‘The Meaning of Success’ and published a letter calling on the HE community to consider what the sector values and should be promoting, figuratively and, when it comes to people, literally. This dialogue I hope has been continuing during the year in universities around the country. In Ca Continue reading
Amongst the big news last week (besides the octopus-squid battle, a dress, and a singer falling over whilst – presumably – sober) was the release of an editorial from the journal “Basic and Applied Social Psychology” (BASP) which announced that it was banning p-values. There was much rejoicing by people who didn’t read Continue reading
Two more book reviews from my reading list for this year.
On several occasions while reading Being Mortal, surgeon Atul Gawande’s book about end-of-life care, I could feel a lump swelling in my throat and tears pressing for release. I’m not an emotional type but this is an intense book. Continue reading
Last autumn there were some shocking figures released by the Royal Society regarding the new cohort of University Research Fellows (URFs): only two out of 43 were women. Many of us were very disappointed and depressed by these figures. I wrote about them at the time , as did the Royal Society’s President Paul Nurse on his own blog. But I̵ Continue reading
From the “Making dreams come true” department, we recently had a sauna installed at the new gaff.
It’s very nice, and you should know that South Eastern trains have a special, hidden, weekend fare that lets you use the High Speed service for the same price as the slow train, and that I can pick you up from the station. Continue reading
This past week it was announced that I would be assuming the Presidency of the British Science Association (the BSA, formerly simply the British Association or the BA). It is a great honour to be asked to follow in the footsteps of so many of the most illustrious scientists of the last 170 odd years. The list of previous incumbents is truly humblin Continue reading
When one is the parent of a small child it is well-known one catches every bug going, as their own uninitiated immune systems succumb to one cold after another which they can transmit, often with more serious diseases mixed in. In my case it was chickenpox that got me unexpectedly in my 30’s during a Cambridge epidemic, having escaped it thro Continue reading
Although engaging with the public about science is famously not about – heaven forbid – ‘teaching’ it, the two endeavors do share some common strategies. I’ve been organizing and executing a lot of undergraduate educational sessions these past few terms, and I can report that the humble analogy is equally effective in Continue reading