Blog Archives

Follow the leader?

On March 17, 2015

I very much hope that a meeting I attended last week at the University of Cambridge will prove to be a key moment, and a major catalyst, in accelerating change in academia. Delivering Equality: Women & Success was billed as a “summit of senior leaders progressing change in academia”, and, as Athene Donald discusses over […]

So long, Sid

On January 30, 2015

As we get older, one aspect of the festive season becomes increasingly evident, an issue that younger readers may not have considered. It concerns the Christmas cards that do not arrive. Or, alternatively, they do arrive, but with a short note sadly informing us of the demise of a loved one. This year we had […]

I am not a smart man

On November 17, 2014

“I’m a physicist”… “Wow, you must be clever!” This is an interaction most physicists would admit to having at some point. Physics is difficult: everyone knows this. We take pride in it. Ours is the most difficult subject, the most worthy; we are the scientific elite. We are confident about our standing in academia. But […]

Is university structure anti-research?

On August 12, 2014

Last week, I suggested a collaboration between veterinary medicine and engineering. The graduate student in our School of Veterinary Medicine was interested in investigating how accurate the internet could be in tracking the progression of a disease. Meanwhile, the professor in Engineering was an expert in designing software that could extract trends from sources such […]

#sciconfessions: Our bloggers spill their darkest secrets

On August 1, 2013

Over the last few days, scientists have been telling all on Twitter. Failed experiments, stupid mistakes, accidental E. coli poisoning… you name it, someone has admitted to it. See the latest #sciconfessions here. We asked our bloggers to share their scientific confessions that don’t fit into 140 characters. Have your own? Tweet with #scionfessions or tell […]

When you tell someone you’re a physicist, explain what you actually do

On July 23, 2013

Physics is a diverse, constantly growing field. So why do people treat me differently when I tell them that I’m studying it? The response is almost always that they never understood (or worse, never liked) physics, that it’s remarkable that I’m studying it. And after that… silence. Now, I like compliments as much as the […]