New year’s resolutions, coloured gloves and separating scientists

These past two weeks I have realised two things:

  1.  The gym is no more appealing in 2013 than it was in 2012
  2. The vast majority of scientists can be separated into two types: ‘outdoor’ and ‘indoor’ ones

Outdoor scientists bring the outdoors into their labs. I am, and have always been an outdoor scientist. Scientists who fall under this category don’t usually wear lab coats and don’t really understand when one is really needed (if they do own a lab coat it is likely either to be the one they haven’t used since Chemistry GCSE classes or a grimy, brown monstrosity that is used to protect their clothes from getting dirty).  Outdoor scientists have ‘dirty’ labs where the lab fridge can harbour all manner of things from pots of sleepy spiders (to cool them down and make identification easier) to soya milk (for tea, obviously).  The tiny freezer section of a dirty lab’s fridge only ever becomes filled in summer, when it’s crammed with icecream.  A group of outdoor scientists in a lab will complain about the choice of radio station.

Continue reading

Back to school

As much as it may be cool to say I hated school, didn’t do my homework and never did any revision, it would be a lie. Keen as I may have been though, I wasn’t crazy, so on my last school day I appreciated the fact that I would never again have homework to do or exams to revise for.

Until last week, that is.

Continue reading

Preparing for LMC6

Discussing Science at Wisley in 1967


Many months before a KTP project begins and long before an Associate has been recruited, a core project team get together and, in a room I picture as being windowless and smoke-filled but that I expect in reality is bright, airy and houses multiple smoke detectors, they devise a plan outlining how the project could develop during the allotted timescale.  The result of their efforts is one of the first things I received on my first day as a KTP Associate – the grant proposal document.  Read and revisited for much of that day – and for many weeks afterwards, this document was rarely far from my desk.

Almost two years on, and with the project well on track, I still flick through my grant proposal document but do so much less frequently- perhaps only twice in a three-month period. This week, I revisited it when preparing for LMC6.

Continue reading