I’m just back from a visit to the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden. If I told you what I found out, I’d have to kill you. Suffice it to say that this ex-paleontologist found that cell and molecular biology can be really, really, interesting. Who knew? I was there in part to do my stand-up routine (here’s one I prepared earlier), to visit labs and hear what scientists had to say about their lives and their work. I also got the chance to advertise my new line in cell-biology geekwear.
I love visiting labs.
It’s the most time-consuming and exhausting part of my job as an editor at Your Favorite Weekly Professional Science Magazine Beginning With N – I return home utterly spent, my brain straining with information and new insights – but in many ways it is the most rewarding. There’s nothing quite like surrounding oneself with young, intelligent, civilized people to make oneself feel
young, intelligent and civilized good about the world. And there’s nothing like meeting scientists in their natural habitat to know what really makes them tick. Even if you have never met the scientist in question before, and know just the barest outlines of their publication record or their CV, all one needs to do is turn up and invite them to talk – and it all comes out. Impassioned, articulate description of their projects, their achievements, their hopes for the future. Whoever said scientists can’t communicate?
So here’s my chance to thank, publicly, Dr Pavel Tomancak and his colleagues for inviting me and making my stay in Dresden so pleasant and rewarding.
And for those of you following this, the Cuisine des Girrafes now has tiles on the floor.
The Cuisine des Girrafes, recently
What a difference this makes over dusty bare concrete. Now I can get on and finish making the furniture, adding skirting boards and so on and so
third fifth forth. How far we have come.
The Cuisine des Girrafes, some months ago
Did someone say ‘civilized’?