The forgotten art of taking notes?

Maybe its just me, but… For the undergrad, postgrad and seasoned researcher, there can be huge amounts of information to digest on a day-to-day basis.  Nowadays there is perhaps an increased challenge of trying to filter good information from the bad, especially if extracted from the internet.  It would therefore seem natural to use effective…

Rejection

Rejection is part of academic life. I guess we often hide these discussions in local corridors or with colleagues who have a similar outlook. It is as common a phenomenon as end-of-semester marking. But just how useful is it in shaping who we are? Silly question? I don’t think so. Not anymore. Over the last…

A fluid workplace

I find one of the biggest hurdles for progress in research is when thought processes and/or activities have to take a sharp right turn in direction. This could be an abrupt request for a chat in your office, a series of meetings with only minutes to spare in-between or a discussion that drifts. Poor self-management,…

Do we need a ‘digital detox’?

As a child of the 80’s, I feel I’ve experienced first-hand some important crossing points on the creep of technology into everyday life. I was really lucky to grow up with a family that invested in a home computer, starting with the BBC Micro from Acorn. This little beauty opened up a whole new arena…

The conference explorer

I’m excited to be attending one of my favourite conferences in less than one week’s time, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco. It is relatively enormous as far as conference attendee numbers are judged. This puts some off, but to me it offers far more advantages than disadvantages. One is the immense flexibility…

St Jerome in his study

The National Gallery in London has two of my favourite paintings, both depicting the same scene: St Jerome in his study, rendering the Bible into Latin. The painting by Vincenzo Catena [c. 1480–1531] is probably my favourite of the two, depicted in figure 1, the other by Antonello da Messina [c. 1430 –  1479] as…

Take a break, make a breakthrough

Scientists can wander through periods of intense personal drive. It might be focusing on a single project, a single activity, or it might be building up a holistic view of a given phenomena. Personal drive, often presented as passion, can be a richly rewarding. The brain sparks into life whilst a feeling of excitement fills…

Email – wrestling with the beast

Its great how easy we can communicate these days, but at what cost? I can remember first using email at college and finding it the route of easy jokes between friends. A few of us would send quick, daft, messages to each other, and that was it. Moving to university it became a mechanism of…

To travel is to learn. To learn is to trust.

This is a short post. I wont dwell on the recent disappointing European Union Referendum in Britain; suffice to say it got me thinking about the value of travel, amongst many things. It was a referendum driven by fears; misinformed fears of people and cultures many have never met, nor political decisions many have never…

A night owl, coding/working at 7:30am

I’m a night owl. Well, at least, that’s the label I’ve carried for as long as I can remember. Is it just the default option I have or do I have another mode that has been dormant for so long? If I have a night to myself I will stay awake until my eyes can…