Category Archives: Scientific method

In which I feel a bit too old for this game sometimes

Age is a slippery thing. Most days I still feel like that tentative new PhD student, pulling 80-hour weeks at the University of Washington Health Sciences Center in Seattle. By the red glow of the safelight, I’d feed dusky rectangles … Continue reading

Posted in Nostalgia, Scientific method, Students, The profession of science | 2 Comments

In which satellite models trump circumspection: the case of MH370

The strange disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH340 has captivated the world, myself included. In an era of instant information, it’s sobering that an entire Boeing 777 could just vanish. I am sure I am not the only one who … Continue reading

Posted in Scientific method, Scientific thinking | 10 Comments

In which I admire their honesty

Kudos to Mateja Erdani Kreft of the University of Ljubljana and Horst Robenek from the University of Münster for telling it like it is: You don’t often see such candor in the methods section of your local journal article – … Continue reading

Posted in Scientific method, Scientific papers, Scientific thinking, Silliness, The profession of science | 5 Comments

In which the data get an outing

For the past few weeks I’ve been traveling the globe at back-to-back conferences – hence the silence here. The conference universe has its own natural laws, and time flows differently as its strict routines overwrite all of your own normal … Continue reading

Posted in Careers, Scientific method, Scientific thinking, The profession of science | 6 Comments

In which we make a mess of things

As a rule, when I’m trying to be creative, I have a hard time focusing if my workspace is not pristine and well-ordered. This holds true whether I’m working on a novel at my desk or performing an experiment on … Continue reading

Posted in Nostalgia, Scientific method, Silliness | 6 Comments

In which a picture’s worth a thousand words

A significant part of the scientific process is documenting what you observe. This activity is not merely a formality for the record. In some cases, it’s not until we study and analyze our results that the experimental situation can start … Continue reading

Posted in Scientific method, The profession of science | 18 Comments

In which necessity’s a MoFo

Reality check and status update: I’m still a lab head, and I’m still poor. But after knocking around in this new position for nearly three months, I have to admit that it’s rather good fun being poor. When you lack … Continue reading

Posted in Scientific method, Silliness | 16 Comments

In which we’re too close for comfort

It was always going to be a difficult relationship. We knew from the very start that they weren’t very well-suited. After all, they came from such different backgrounds. They were used to such radically different environments. They scarcely even spoke … Continue reading

Posted in Scientific method, The profession of science | 8 Comments

In which the light bulb’s on the other foot

Following on from a discussion about light bulb changing jokes, I was bustling around my lab this morning, getting ready to cryogenically preserve some backups of my new bladder epithelial cell line. I was all set: I’d ordered the Mr … Continue reading

Posted in Scientific method, Silliness, The profession of science | 10 Comments

In which truths are revealed

There are many things I love passionately about science, but one aspect has got to be right up there in the top ten: the transformation of a deep unknown into perfect clarity. I find it amazing that using simple lab … Continue reading

Posted in Scientific method, Scientific thinking, The profession of science | 10 Comments