Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

In which I defend a bit of honest ignorance

I sometimes wonder if it is possible for a specialist to ever truly empathize what it feels like to walk in the shoes of the unindoctrinated – especially when it comes to the language. If you’re an adult practitioner of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 33 Comments

In which we experience the big thaw

It happens suddenly, when you least expect it. It is a matter of utmost urgency, and requires the entire lab to drop everything else they’re doing and pull together. No one experiment is more important than this intermittent, yet inevitable … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

In which I call my own bluff

It’s only been two weeks since I responded to some well-intentioned goading – “Why don’t scientists ever get involved in politics?” – and spontaneously decided to start a revolution. But it already seems like months. I am referring, of course, … Continue reading

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In which I notice a trend

Celebrated science bloggers are primarily male. Discuss. — *Note added retrospectively: I have been asked why I have not included self-organizing, grassroots blogging collectives, or indeed Nature Network itself, on this graph. The reason is because I was interested in … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 105 Comments

In which the great slumbering scientific beast awakens

Scientists in the UK today are starting to respond to governmental noises suggesting that, in a time when other countries are investing in science to rejuvenate the economy, funding for science and innovation here will have to be slashed. Only … Continue reading

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In which the blind see

What is truth? After long stretches of time in the lab, I often wonder if we’ll ever really know. Science can be loosely defined as the search for truth, but this goal is often illusory. Every experiment we do hides … Continue reading

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In which I expect a little magic

Welcome to the new piece of kit on the lab block: Isn’t she lovely? OK, she is a bit of a prima donna. We had to sacrifice half our gel-running bench to make room for her arrival because she refused … Continue reading

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In which I reflect on the mechanisms – and costs – of scientific success

What is the golden ticket to scientific success in an oversubscribed, under-funded field? In my previous post, I set out my thoughts and fears about the final year-and-a-bit of what is likely to be my final fellowship opportunity in biomedical … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 51 Comments

In which I face up to crunch time

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but on this occasion it is not an entirely welcome one. It’s the time of year for this sort of reflection. The institute is in the process of awakening from … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 40 Comments