Author Archives: Sylvia McLain

About Sylvia McLain

Girl, Interrupting aka Dr. Sylvia McLain is a bio-physicist in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford (UK), but she blogs in a personal capacity. She is also a proto-science writer, armchair philosopher, amateur plumber and wanna-be film-critic. You can follow her on Twitter @DrSylviaMcLain

On ending the myth of the Lost Cause

During Reconstruction, that horrific impoverished period in the US South after the Civil War, the Cult of the Lost Cause (of the Confederacy) took its roots in the minds and attitudes of Southerners and indeed of the nation as a … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War Statues, Confederacy, Racism | 1 Comment

On the removal of our Southern ‘heritage’

In the US South, in various places, confederate statues are being removed. In New Orleans Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, General Beauregard – all these relics of the Confederate past are being transported to a legacy of cobwebs, pigeon-shit and … Continue reading

Posted in Civil War Statues, Confederacy, Racism | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The president needs a civics lesson

President Trump needs a civics lesson. First I would suggest that he reads the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution. I know this might be hard for a president who doesn’t read, but it’s a short read. Alternately, he could … Continue reading

Posted in 1st amendment, Trump executive order | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Goodbye David – my brother and childhood hero

My older brother, David McLain, died suddenly of a heart attack on August 18, 2016. He was only 51 years old and none of us saw this coming. He was a force of nature, my big brother, I already miss … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Would you like fries with that ? (my time at the wonderful world of Wendy’s

I graduated from high school in 1986. I was 18, I had a job and a $600 Chevy Chevette and was living in an apartment with (too many) other folks and wasn’t going to University. I was gainfully employed at … Continue reading

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Cervical cancer is not porn – Knox County schools shouldn’t cave to ignorance

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” ― Joseph Brodsky tags: books, censorship, illiteracy, reading 5672 likes My hometown has made the international news. Is this for the fact that Knoxville Mayor Madeline … Continue reading

Posted in Knox County School System, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Documentaries – improving and diverting (a wee review)

I am enamored with Netflix. I am still stuck in my infatuation phase with Netflix and have sadly I have reverted to a teenager (OMG I can watch Netflix whenever I want to!). The existence of Netflix is far more … Continue reading

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That dumb flag – It’s time to let it go

I miss my home town. I miss the sound of cicadids on a summer evening. I miss the construction of a fine, Southern sentence. I miss running around in bare feet. I miss catching fireflies and putting them in a … Continue reading

Posted in Confederacy, Racism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Cry, cry, cry (for backwards Nobel Laureates)

So this happened – at The World Conference of Science Journalism, at a lunch sponsored by Korean female scientists and engineers – just yesterday. So as a human being, I am not sure I particularly care what Professor Tim Hunt, … Continue reading

Posted in Tim Hunt, WCSJ, women in science | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

We’ve all got troubles (including the Open Science Framework)

Surprisingly to some and not-so-surprisingly to others, we scientists have our own fair share of troubles in the way we perform our day job – bias, fraud, irreproducibility, lost results, bad data management, difficulty in publishing non-conclusive results. We also … Continue reading

Posted in Bias, scientific publishing | Tagged , | 2 Comments