On the up

Having a chat with Henricus croxii this morning, it suddenly struck me that I have been rather quiet of late. So quiet, in fact, that even H. croxii, with whom I normally share everything (except underpants and family members), wasn’t privy to my latest—albeit now three weeks old—piece of news. Statistically, therefore, the chances are that you’re similarly as unenlightened as he was this morning.

Permit me to explain.

Actually, permit me to digress.

Up until the first month of 2009 I was a research scientist. I had been thus since I emerged, anadyomène-like and yolk glistening, from the revivifying waters of the Biochemistry department of the University of Oxford in the balmy summer of 1991. Now, some might quibble over the ‘research scientist’ moniker being applied to someone working towards their doctor of philosophy qualification, but they can just bugger off. Either way, doing bench research had accounted for a major chunk of my adult life. The reasons why that should have changed at such an advanced stage are many and varied, but sadly not all that unusual.

And as you well know, since 2009 I’ve been working at the Faculty of 1000, doing various things as they came up, including contributing to The Scientist magazine; building a social media presence from scratch; and overseeing the launch of an opinion-based ranking system for scholarly journals. All those revels now—as of three weeks previously, actually—are ended, however. Faculty of 1000 was my first non-research science job, and while I’m very grateful for the opportunity to land on my feet in London and get to meet interesting people and figure out exactly what else a one-time lab rat can be good at, I always knew it wasn’t going to be long-term, and that once I was more in control of things I’d be looking to move on, and hopefully up.

I have now embarked on the next stage of my winding career path. Three weeks ago I joined a medical education and publishing agency called Remedica, as a Senior Writer. I’ve been thrown right into the thick of things (which is great—it’s the only way I know how) and although I haven’t really done any writing as such, I have done a great deal of editing, information architecture and, oddly enough, literature-based research. I’ve read more papers per day over the last three weeks than at any time since I was writing up my DPhil. I know more about a certain class of macromolecule than anybody has any right to know—and that information is going to be coming soon to a pharmaceutical booth near you. In beautifully rendered 3D, no less.

I can’t really say who are our clients, nor talk about the specifics of what’s in progress, but I can say there are some really hot animations in development, as well as some interesting iPad apps that I have my eyes on. And they want to send me to San Diego soon to produce a webcast.

Never a dull moment. I’ve been very busy in a very refreshing way, although I’ve not really had the energy for blogging. It is great fun, but my mother still wants to know when I’m going to “get a proper job.”

So now you, and H. croxii, know.

About rpg

Scientist, poet, gadfly
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11 Responses to On the up

  1. cromercrox says:

    Thank you, RPG, I shall consider myself informed. And anadyomène – that, Sir, is a truly fantastic word, indicative of a classical education.

    And you can borrow my underpants anytime, provided I am not already wearing them.

  2. Tideliar says:

    Congrats mate. We’ve followed similar tragectories and I’m looking towards my next step. Trying to summon the druthers needed to network it though…

  3. rpg says:

    Thank you Henry. I have to say my education was more grunge than classical, however.

    Thanks Tiddles. I like the thought of a ‘tragectory’. It must be an inevitable but spectacular decline.

  4. Steve Caplan says:

    Congratulations on the new job! I must say it is rather reassuring to know that for those of us “at the bench” (well, at least supposedly) that there is a demand for science and science writing in the market place, and there are interesting positions for those who know what to look for.

    Enjoy the new challenges!

    And, er, I would advise staying away from Dr. H. G.’s undergarments if you fancy your new job…

  5. cromercrox says:

    Whatever you might have heard about my undergarments … it’s all lies.

  6. Steve Caplan says:

    I read all about them on Wikileaks…

  7. rpg says:

    I thought Dr Caplan was rather too well informed about Henry’s ugs.

  8. Eva says:

    You have one chat with Henry and you start writing like him. This is dangerous.

  9. What Steve C said up above. On all counts.

  10. ricardipus says:

    I was wondering if you were a bit buried in the new gig to find time for writing. Glad it’s turned out to be exciting (glad, but not surprised, presuming you’d done all of your homework before signing on).

    Does this mean that the F1000 editorial staff will be less persistent in bugging me for evaluations now? Thought not.

    Hope you’ll still find plenty of things that you’ll be able to blog about – working in industry can be a bit restrictive that way, but you know that from prior experience too of course.

  11. rpg says:

    Ha, no, I can’t see that they’ll stop doing that. And I told the other people that you were only going to blog for me, so they’re doubly upset.

    Not sure how much I’ll be able to write about the day job, but I should be able to find plenty of ideas, at least…

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