Category Archives: Nostalgia

In which I cherish useless facts

I’ve just had my first letter to the editor published in the Times (of London, that is, not of New York). It wasn’t an urgent missive about science policy or politics or the state of the world or the Queen’s … Continue reading

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In which I see the light

I’m happy, and I don’t know why. Usually I dread this time of year, the period between demobbing the Christmas tree and the daffodil-studded benevolence of mid-March. It stretches on endlessly, the dreary coldness, the frosts interspersed with rain that … Continue reading

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In which academic dreams come true: a belated professorship

I have wanted to be a scientist since before I can remember. I did all the right things: I studied hard, finished my homework, raised my hand in class, failed to hide the fact that I loved learning, even though … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Careers, Nostalgia, Research, Staring into the abyss, The ageing process, The profession of science, Women in science | 5 Comments

In which summers shrink

Academics talk nostalgically about rosy-tinted times of yore when summers meant a lull in lecturing duties. The months would unfold before you, a vast landscape of research possibilities. It was a time to write papers, craft grants, catch up with … Continue reading

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In which the pandemic unfolds: a postcard from The Big One?

Epidemics are works in progress. At any given moment in time, you can’t know how they will end. They are a curve on a graph of ultimately unknown trajectory; when you are just a dot on a growing curve, you … Continue reading

Posted in Epidemics, Nostalgia, Scientific thinking, Staring into the abyss, Work/life balance | 1 Comment

In which my mother stands behind me, and I mother in turn

The winter always belonged to my mother and me. We both loved the late autumn, when the last of the leaves plastered the pavements in a smear of color, and our breath fogged the morning air. November also usually brought … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic bliss, Joshua, Nostalgia, The ageing process, Work/life balance | 2 Comments

In which I realize I am part of a select sci/art group

I haven’t written here for a gazillion years – life is just too full-on. But I found out an amusing fact that I wanted to share. I’m not sure how it came up, but my Fiction Lab contact at the … Continue reading

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In which I evolve (or possibly, devolve) as a scientist

Last Thursday was a normal day. After a few hours at my desk working on a grant application and a paper revision, I ran to the tube station, threw myself into a train down to the main campus, trudged a … Continue reading

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In which we wind down

I’ve been off work for a few days, but the incompatible clash of exhaustion and adrenalin which characterizes my life in academia has yet to ebb. These days it takes a full week to come down from the jaw-clenched crush … Continue reading

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In which I present my third lab lit novel, Cat Zero – out soon!

I’m pleased to announce the imminent publication of my third lab lit novel, Cat Zero, with Bitingduck Press, a science-friendly indie imprint out of Altadena, California. I have always wanted to write a story starring feline leukemia virus (FeLV), the … Continue reading

Posted in LabLit, Nostalgia, Work/life balance, Writing | 11 Comments