Writing space: the final frontier
When you move into a new house, you unpack about 90% of your belongings in the first months. And then, of course, there’s that lingering tail that seems to get put off indefinitely.
This asymptote of neglect can be indicative: if you haven’t opened a box for a few years, it’s likely you never wi Continue reading
In response to my recent post on New Year Frustrations, I received a tweet complaining that in this particular person’s university female postdocs contractually could not receive mentoring. That statement can be read in two ways: either that female postdocs are being actively disadvantaged in comparison with their male counterparts (which would be Continue reading
I spent much of the Christmas break admiring my new granddaughter’s constantly changing and newly acquired skills as she progressed from 8 weeks old to 10; the sense of new synaptic connections being made was very strong as her hand-eye coordination improved and she began to get some sense of one limb being distinct from another. So, reading Brigit Continue reading
Our floor recently initiated a monthly lunchtime meeting as an informal feedback conduit. Although the individual labs all work in one mammoth communal room, the research that goes on is disparate. The key to propelling your project forward might be someone else’s knowledge, or a helpful reagent stashed unbeknownst to you in a fridge just one Continue reading
Along with many of my academic colleagues from across the nation, I was asked by the Times Higher Education to set down at least one new year’s resolution for 2017.
I drew inspiration from Richard Hamming (whom I wrote about way back in the glory days of 2009)…
By the way, now that I have reach number 10 in this “In case you missed it Continue reading
Last year was mental.
Back in December 2015, with about about 10 days’ notice, a colleague and I flew to Orlando on a Sunday lunchtime, ran a meeting Monday morning, and flew home Monday night.
That was just the start. Continue reading
I spent some of my time off around New Year attempting to start as I mean to go on by tidying my ‘home office’. In the run-up to Christmas, as exhaustion took over and time ran out, I had increasingly just been dumping piles of paper precariously on the edge of my desk as I rushed in from meetings. No sorting; no tidying; no order. So January 1st s Continue reading
Every career probably has a tipping point. Twenty-seven years after embarking on my PhD, a period riddled with false starts, uncertainties, twists and turns, I sense the shifting of weight beneath me and momentum gathering as I start to swing to some bright but unknown Other Side.
Nothing has materially changed about my job description or status. Continue reading
It seems ridiculous that my last post on Occam’s Typewriter was my favourite ten photographs of 2015… posted in June of the following year(!). That’s some top-shelf procrastination right there, folks. So, as partial remedy, I’m posting my picks of 2016 right now – New Year’s Day, 2017. Getting the new year off to Continue reading
Rather than attempting to sum up the tumultuous year just past in words, let me simply share with you some of the photographs that I took in 2016.
The image below is an embedded album from my Flickr account. I’m not sure that it does very much so it’s probably best to click on the image. This will take you to the album on Flickr where y Continue reading
I’m rather late getting round to this but, for the record, here is a piece I wrote for Research Fortnight in late November on the challenges that preprints pose to embargoed press releases of research reports.
The tl;dr version (though the piece is only 800 words!) is that the benefits of preprints very likely outweigh the convenience of emba Continue reading
It is easy to forget that what is your daily life today is tomorrow’s history: history is not just about the great white men long dead and buried. A talk I attended a few weeks ago vividly brought this to life for me. The talk was by Nancy Weiss Malkiel, one of the first women hired as faculty at Princeton back in 1969, a university where she has b Continue reading
She was decent and hard-working. She seldom complained, even when she got herself into a jam.
She witnessed my awakening as a writer, from tentative, cliché-prone beginner to confident, stripped-down wordsmith capable of earning money and book deals. Continue reading
I began this blog on Nov. 13, less than a week after the elections. It was too painful for me to continue. Not that there are many bright spots on the horizon that have appeared over the last 6 weeks, but the time has come for me to put this blog to rest and move on. So here it is, no less painful, but blunted slightly by mankind’s ability to Continue reading
There are many myths about the University of Cambridge (and indeed Oxford), based on historical misinformation, literature and a general feeling that it is ‘different’ from the rest of the world. Novels like Brideshead Revisited – admittedly referring to Oxford rather than Cambridge, but we are generally lumped together – must have something to do Continue reading