Category Archives: Uncategorized

In which there’s no cure like a good geeky read

With the arrival of September, autumn has arrived in London with a vengeance. The air is crisp and cold, marigolds wither on my back porch, and the campus is full of robed, jubilant undergraduates ready to accept their diplomas and … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

In which I ponder the power of perspective

Whenever you stick your head above the parapet and express a strong opinion in a high-profile venue, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll receive a large number of emails in response. Most of the follow-up I receive tends to be from … Continue reading

Posted in Scientific method, Scientific thinking, The profession of science, Uncategorized, Women in science | 47 Comments

In which we rev up again

It’s been a long, cold winter. Science Is Vital has been in hibernation, but now we’re back. After half a year since the government’s Autumn Spending Review, the implications of the science budget’s cash freeze are starting to kick in. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

In which I marvel at a serious swag #fail

Who doesn’t love a good conference swag bag? Yes, I know it’s frequently full of useless tat destined to go straight into the hotel bin. But what jolts the adrenalin as you paw through the bulging canvas sack in your … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

In which I question my own sell-by date

The scientific profession is inherently broken. I’ve blogged in the past about the glut of increasingly desperate post-docs battling it out for a diminishing pool of permanent positions funded by a dwindling pot of research funding. As the culture of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 43 Comments

In which I come over all SF

Science: it’s not just a profession, but a way of life. And sometimes it’s hard to switch off the all-pervasive geeky filter through which we view the entire world. Of course, the UK press’s habit of weirdly juxtaposing nouns as … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

In which I correspond

In my secret heart, I have always longed to live in the Victorian era. Through the rosy-tinted glow of idealized histories (the sort that neglect to mention things like head lice), I’ve imbibed stories of poets corresponding with ornithologists about … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments

In which I contemplate the ranks of the invisible

The word ‘feminist’ has ugly connotations, so much so that I often hesitate before pointing out gender inequities. Does it do any good to state the obvious, given that it is unlikely to rectify injustice, and indeed risks riling up, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 75 Comments

In which we experience a visitation

As a force of nature, you can’t get much more powerful than a first-year rotating graduate student: one part youthful stamina and nine parts unrelenting enthusiasm. This year in our institute I took part in a new experiment for dealing … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

In which even the Government thinks science is vital

My heart is light. Several early indicators suggest that the UK science budget is to be spared. Although a freeze on funding will correspond to a cut in real terms of about 10% after four years, due to inflation, it … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 24 Comments