Category Archives: Research

In which I make the best of things

Greetings from the tail end of a typical British bank holiday, where the big highlight was gardening in the rain. In all seriousness, it was rather lovely to be out tidying up the flower beds in the fresh air, among … Continue reading

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In which I dream

Last night I dreamt I was pipetting. It was a beautiful Gilson p200, the classic model of my formative years. The precision instrument felt reassuringly heavy and solid in my right hand. Despite its age, the movements were smooth and … Continue reading

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In which the wheel turns

Time is a wheel, speeding me along in ever quicker circuits. As individual moments rush towards me, flare into immediacy and then blur past, most are soon forgotten save for those captured as digital images, or in some dashed lines … Continue reading

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In which we land

Our migration is complete: my lab now has a new home. And for me, a new office space. Numerous studies have scrutinised the effect of environment on work productivity. Anecdotally, I know that my own focus and output are greatly … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Nostalgia, Research, science funding, Scientific papers, Staring into the abyss, The profession of science, Work/life balance | 1 Comment

In which we migrate

After about eight years in residence at the Royal Free Hospital, my itinerant scientific journey is about to embark on its next exciting leg. In a few weeks’ time, my lab is uprooting itself and moving to a new home … Continue reading

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

In which I am pummelled into viral submission

I am only happy to write about this today because I suspect it is finally almost over. I’m no longer so superstitious that I think I’m tempting fate by doing so now. In short, I’ve been ill for a long … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Illness, Research, The ageing process | 1 Comment

In which I head into the wind

Sometimes joy and sadness are hard to tease apart – there should be a word for the heavy lightness, or light heaviness, of springtime. This time of year always carries ambivalence: a scrum of flowers unfurl, scenting the air, but … Continue reading

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

In which my lab is a garden

It’s a grey afternoon, the light already fading. R. and I have just done a circuit of the back garden – ‘inspecting the troops’, we call it. The entire space is dishevelled, as it always is this time of year: … Continue reading

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In which we fall

Fireworks crackle in the darkness: yesterday’s Bonfire Night stretching to fill the entire weekend. The torrential rains have given way to an almost full moon, glowing cold-silver in the eastern sky. November is always a positive month, with the cosiness … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Domestic bliss, Gardening, Joshua, Research, Staring into the abyss, Students, Teaching, The profession of science, Work/life balance | 2 Comments

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