Category Archives: Scientific method

In which we home-school science: introducing #HomeSci, a social media experiment

From this coming Monday in the United Kingdom, all schools are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that many parents will be working from home and looking after their children at the same time. And not just looking … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic bliss, Joshua, Research, Scientific method, Teaching | 1 Comment

In which I defend the birds-eye view

Is science about obsessing over one tiny daub of paint? Or is it about standing back and appreciating the entire picture? At the poster session of a recent meeting, I was chatting with a engaging young woman about her research … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Research, Scientific method, Scientific thinking | 2 Comments

In which we science the world

My son just can’t help it. He’s not even doing it deliberately: he’s just acting naturally. Curiosity combined with razor-sharp eyesight is a killer combination for the accidental scientist. He sees things that I miss, with my own failing ocular … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic bliss, Joshua, Scientific method, Scientific thinking, Work/life balance | 3 Comments

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