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Showing posts from July, 2010

Dance your PhD

PhDs or any form of research can be incredibly frustrating. The nature of what you are doing means that things do not work out as planned and often take 10x as long (for no apparent reason). People that have not undertaken a lot of research may not understand this and may presume that it is down to bad planning of the person involved, sometimes it is, but more than often it is not. I can plan for Great Britain. Day plans, week plans, yearly plans - but I cannot plan for experiments spontaneously not working, or fire alarms interrupting experiments or other random events that seem to happen when an experiment is in mid flow (if aliens were to land they would do it in the middle of a very expensive, very important experiment). As you can probably tell I am going through one of these frustrating times - everything I am doing seems to be failing on me or has come to a complete standstill. HOWEVER, I am not going to moan about how rubbish a PhD is... as many people in the Internet forums s…

Anyone here a Doctor? YES, ME! Oh no, not that kind of Doctor - Gillian McKeith (not PhD)

Last week I gave in, I put aside my pride and joined Twitter. The only people that I thought might be interesting on Twitter are Ben Goldacre, Tim Minchin and Stephen Fry, so I added them and began to follow.......Oh how glad am I that I joined last week!!! Much to my delight (although probably not to my supervisors) I got to watch the unfolding of Ben Goldacre (actual Doctor) vs Gillian McKeith (not a medical doctor, dubious PhD). If you do not know what this debate is about - check out this link for a quick summary of what happened. People are covering this amazing spectacle all over the Internet as it unfolds (and I am sure there is more to come) so I am going to discuss - what does being a Doctor mean? Who is a Doctor? Can you trust people that call themselves Dr ... and what on earth is a PhD?!

Doctor type 1 -  Medical Doctor, usually found in hospitals/GP surgeries looking a bit ropey due to overwork and stress. These people have studied Medicine at a university. Medical Schools …

Women in Science

I haven't posted anything for a few weeks as I have been running up and down the country living in a field and giving presentations to my PhD sponsor.

I did manage a visit to the hairdressers (I seem to think more at the hairdressers than anywhere else, maybe its the massaging chair) which made me think back to one of my earlier posts Women in Science and the media where I had a bit of a moan about how women in science are often ignored by various 'women of the year' award type efforts in womens magazines. I never did get a response from the editor of  Red magazine ... Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to see an article in one magazine (2 page spread in fact) about L'oreals women in science award with an article that featured two proper lady scientists. It's great that a brand like L'oreal is supporting schemes like this (it does add a hint of glamour to the world of science) and its also great that the magazines are giving it some space (although I suspect L&…