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Whose Responsbility? It’s too Easy to Say ‘Not Mine’

Despite the news being full of stories about how minorities are disadvantaged in larger or smaller ways, it is far from obvious that rapid progress is being made. The articles I read are full of appropriate shock at everything from the gender pay gap to the lack of women in the board room and misogyny in social media, yet are the organisations that Continue reading

Posted in diversity, Equality, faculty, leadership, support, Women in science | Leave a comment

I’m a student, graduate student (found poem)

Coming to you from the twenty-first wonder that is automated voicemail audio-to-text transcription. I have used editorial license to slightly alter some words, and lightly apply punctuation and line breaks. I have not changed any names to protect the innocent – it seemed unnecessary.


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Posted in Poem, poetry, science (possibly), voicemail, Writing | Leave a comment

I sense a problem with undergraduate education

A lot has been said about job prospects of biomedical graduate students and the ever-declining percentage of Ph.D. graduates who are ultimately able to find academic faculty positions. Indeed, the importance of exposing graduate students to a variety of scientific career options has become recognized in recent years. Many graduate programs, includi Continue reading

Posted in academia, biomedical researcher, career, critical thinking, education, grades, graduate education, graduate program, GRE, IDP, individual development plan, Occam's underwear, Ph.D., PhD, Research, researcher, science, science career, science careers, science jobs, student, students, undergraduate, undergraduate education, undergraduate students | Leave a comment

Why Athletics Resembles Academia

Today it’s four years exactly since my first blogpost appeared. Four years of having fun writing about different sorts of things: academic life, committee work and membership, the issues facing women and the joys and frustrations of working at disciplinary interfaces. I have been encouraged by the comments I receive in person, on Twitter and Continue reading

Posted in academia, advice, careers, luck | Leave a comment

Good bye my old friend

I met Rick Bigbee, like many people met Rick Bigbee, in Long Creek, South Carolina. He was the head guide for Wildwater, Ltd on the Chattooga River, I was a new guide, intimidated and more than a tiny bit scared. Rick made me feel like I belonged. In the early days, he was my daily cheerleader. He always believed I could do it. Continue reading

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On the Email Mountain

August is a quiet month on the email front. Few committee meetings are occurring to clog up the inbox with their multiple attachments of papers. Plus many people are away from their own computers during the school holidays and they probably don’t want to be caught sneaking peeks at their smart phones or tossing off a quick response when they& Continue reading

Posted in August, inbox, language, Science Culture | Leave a comment

On biological modelling

You can take the rat out of the lab…

mRNA in search of a ribosome

… but you can’t complete translation without a ribosome.

Posted in biological modelling, London, Nonsense, science, Silliness | Leave a comment

Transparency versus Diversity

Within the EU, Commissioner Neelie Kroes is leading the push to have a Commission with a female contingent that is at least beginning to be representative of the population. Her call for #TenOrMore women commissioners doesn’t sound unreasonable: it would still only amount to around 30% of them and is roughly the composition of José Manuel Bar Continue reading

Posted in committee membership, diversity, Equality, nomination, Science Culture, Women in science | Leave a comment

Accelerate the progress of your research by using this one weird old tip!

(Photo and title by Sonja Babovic; used with her permission)

Other geeky things that made me laugh recently:

Posted in grant wrangling, photos, science, Silliness | Leave a comment

It’s time to take responsibility – why the editor of The Lancet should resign

There are a lot of people, governments, and organizations who need to step up and take responsibility. But in this piece about taking responsibility, I call on Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, the UK’s premier medical journal, to apologize and resign. If publishing the deceitful and fallacious  “Open letter to the people o Continue reading

Posted in "open letter to the people of Gaza, 9-11, academic boycott, deceit, doctors, editor, Gaza, Hamas, Interpal, Israel, Lancet Declaration of Interests Policy, lies, Manduca, Palestine, political agenda, Research, RESIGN!, Richard Horton, science, scientists, terror, terrorist, The Lancet | Leave a comment

In which I receive a gift

What do you buy the female scientist who has everything?

A few days ago I noticed a news clip in the London Evening Standard, mentioning that a new line of Lego featuring women researchers had sold out within hours of being offered for purchase online.

Women Scientist Lego hits news

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Posted in Silliness, Stereotypes, The profession of science, Women in science | Leave a comment

Mulling it Over

Writing. Putting finger to keyboard. Churning out the thesis (or paper or grant proposal). This week’s cartoon in the THE reflected on this challenge of thesis-writing, ending with the punchline ‘Writing: the most impossible short distance in the history of humanity’ despite everything being in the poor student’s head. It is Continue reading

Posted in Communicating Science, PhD thesis, prose, Science Culture, Writing | Leave a comment

Why a talented researcher – but a naive saleswoman – had to resort to #crowdfunding

I went and wrote, go ahead, launch the campaign – unprepared, at the end of July. That said, we ARE going to succeed in raising the money we so desperately need to make concrete things happen in our lab: registering the very many families who have been willing to participate in this research for years now, and processing their biological samp Continue reading

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It’s the Individual Who Makes a Difference

Mentors are often highlighted as being crucial to success. People who look out for you, advise you when you’re feeling confused or lost, who point you towards opportunities you might otherwise have missed and who are there to offer encouragement whenever the going gets tough. Mentoring is typically a long-term relationship, often going on thr Continue reading

Posted in Lord (Jack) Lewis, mentoring, parenting, Science Culture | Comments Off

Marooned on the Island

Not a desert island, mind you. Oh no – this “island” is a thin strip of land between pit lane and the front straight, the province of a select few photographers who absolutely need to take photographs of cars in front of key Toronto landmarks – the Princes’ Gate and the CN Tower – and of pit stops with grandstand Continue reading

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