Category Archives: Staring into the abyss

In which business is not quite as usual: the post-first-wave lab resumes

Business as usual is the sort of mentality that’s probably only certain in retrospect. At the moment, the jury is still very much out. My lab reopened its doors a few weeks ago. This is, of course, a wonderful thing. … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Careers, Domestic bliss, Epidemics, Gardening, Joshua, Staring into the abyss, The profession of science, Work/life balance | Comments Off on In which business is not quite as usual: the post-first-wave lab resumes

In which we lock down

There is nothing I can write about life on lockdown that has not already been written. Doing so risks the scorn of the likes of Times journalist Matthew Parris, who on Saturday opined: I’m encountering what for me is an … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic bliss, Gardening, Staring into the abyss, The profession of science, Work/life balance | 6 Comments

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 darkness comes knocking

It’s quite telling that the back end of this blog site is full of recent drafts, abandoned a few lines in. I have ideas, and most evenings, the time, to dash something off. But something, recently, is sapping my creative … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Staring into the abyss, The profession of science, Writing | Comments Off on In which darkness comes knocking

In which I run aground

It’s been a long winter, and the past academic term seemed to stretch on forever, a blur of stress and deadlines punctuated by good news and bad. My lab got another paper accepted, and my outline-stage grant was shortlisted. But … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Domestic bliss, Gardening, science funding, Staring into the abyss, The ageing process, Work/life balance | 11 Comments

In which I see through other eyes

A few months ago I had a Twitter encounter with an American far-right Trump supporter. Unbeknownst to me, this man had been lurking and – as incongruous as it sounds – apparently enjoying my Twitter feed (which is largely, these … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Staring into the abyss | Comments Off on In which I see through other eyes

In which the unsaid gathers

It’s a new year, and the cursor blinks at me accusingly. It knows I have not written here for some time, and perhaps it wonders why, given that thoughts and feelings are gathering restlessly in my brain and need to … Continue reading

Posted in Gardening, Staring into the abyss, The ageing process, The profession of science | Comments Off on In which the unsaid gathers

In which I preserve

I often think about how ancient survival strategies are probably still encoded somewhere deep in our chromosomes, cryptic and dormant but with the potential to be roused by the faintest of stimuli. For me, recent unrest in the world has … Continue reading

Posted in Domestic bliss, Gardening, Joshua, Staring into the abyss, The ageing process, Work/life balance | Comments Off on In which I preserve

In which we ride the imposter rollercoaster – again

We often think of our personalities and tendencies as being immutable, fixed, typical. But the older I get, the better I know myself. And what I know is that I’m often no more in control of my perceptions of self … Continue reading

Posted in Careers, Research, Staring into the abyss, Teaching, The profession of science | 5 Comments

In which we are unlucky: on lab superstitions

I was thinking the other day that if academia were a mental illness, it would be bipolar. One day it treats me well: a student shows me an experiment that shows great promise. I have a spirited chat with a … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Careers, Research, Scientific thinking, Silliness, Staring into the abyss, The profession of science | 5 Comments