Author Archives: Jennifer Rohn

About Jennifer Rohn

Scientist, novelist, rock chick

In which I hire

A colleague I respect very highly once likened academic careers to a rocket launch: once you hit escape velocity, you’re safely in orbit. Problem is, achieving this state as a post-doc or untenured faculty is becoming increasingly difficult. Hundreds of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Careers, Recruitment, Research, The profession of science | 1 Comment

In which we ride the imposter rollercoaster – again

We often think of our personalities and tendencies as being immutable, fixed, typical. But the older I get, the better I know myself. And what I know is that I’m often no more in control of my perceptions of self … Continue reading

Posted in Careers, Research, Staring into the abyss, Teaching, The profession of science | 5 Comments

In which we experiment

My three-year-old son Joshua is a bright and curious boy, full of incessant questions and always wanting to get into everything. The other day he noticed that when he was sucking up juice with a straw, the level of liquid … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic bliss, Teaching | 4 Comments

In which I make myself useful

Two centrifuge buckets, both alike in dignity? It’s a truth universally acknowledged that an ageing group leader is, by definition, out of touch when it comes to the lab. After all, we spend most of our time writing grants and … Continue reading

Posted in Kit, Research, Silliness, The profession of science | 2 Comments

In which we sort ourselves out

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic bliss, LabLit, Writing | 8 Comments

In which I bring Lego to lab meeting

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Research, Scientific thinking | Comments Off on In which I bring Lego to lab meeting

In which horizons expand

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Careers, Research, The profession of science | 2 Comments

In which an era ends

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. She saw … Continue reading

Posted in LabLit, Nostalgia, Work/life balance, Writing | 4 Comments

In which I’m published – in ‘Science Fiction by Scientists’

As the Queen of Lab Lit, a literary subgenre whose defining characteristic includes not being science fiction, people are often surprised to discover that I do actually like SF. But it’s true. I read little else when I was younger, … Continue reading

Posted in LabLit, Writing | Comments Off on In which I’m published – in ‘Science Fiction by Scientists’

In which I am cloistered

I’ve had to do a lot of working from home these past two weeks, as our Athena SWAN submission reaches its final denouement. (Let’s pause to appreciate the image of “Athena SWAN” as a reassuringly corpulent opera singer with Viking … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, The profession of science | 1 Comment