We’ve all heard the old saying “Liquor then beer, you’re in the clear; beer then liquor, never sicker.” But what about beer in liquor? Turns out, the answer is “happy quicker!” This weekend the summer season officially kicks off and what better excuse to take a break from the bench than to celebrate with a summer classic – the margarita.
Archive for May, 2011
By Katie Pratt on May 25th, 2011
Earlier this month a band of intrepid rock-star scientists and comedians set out on a tour of the UK to talk about science to live audiences. Calling themselves the Uncaged Monkeys, Robin Ince, Brian Cox, Ben Goldacre, Simon Singh, and Helen Arney have been all over the place. They’ve packed theatres from London to Glasgow, Newcastle to Oxford. Not only have they educated, they have entertained, and it’s the entertainment part that’s so crucial to science communication these days. Lose someone’s attention and you’re likely to lose it forever into the dark abyss of the ubiquitous smartphone.
By Alan Marnett on May 23rd, 2011
These days it seems the only thing lower than the grant funding line is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approval rating. In 2010, many of the National Institutes of Health agencies exhibited funding lines around the 8th percentile. Ouch. For many of us, the grant writing process has become an exercise in futility – damaging our motivation as significantly as our pocketbook.
By Dora Farkas on May 20th, 2011
There’s one member of our lab that everyone has a major problem with, but our PI seems to think this person is a perfectly reasonable labmate. It’s beyond frustrating- how can we communicate to the PI the trouble this person is causing without looking like immature children telling on someone?
- AAH!, grad student
By Carly Loeb on May 18th, 2011
Transitioning away from the bench can be a scary proposition – especially when it’s difficult to get your head around what careers outside of the bench actually entail. We spoke with Carly Loeb, Ph.D., former Project Leader at Boston Consulting Group to help demystify one of the frequently referenced career options for PhDs: Consulting.
By Nick Fahrenkopf on May 13th, 2011
Research is not the only area where headlines are blown out of proportion- take a look at the most recent global news story as an example. This month I decided to focus this column on some falsehoods and rumors circulating about and around the killing of Osama bin Laden. Of course, no Sensational Science column would be complete without at least one scientific story, so I’ve included one of my favorites headlines from the past month.
By Katie Pratt on May 11th, 2011
Here in New England, spring has most definitely sprung. And what comes after spring? Summer. That wonderful time of year when we in the Ocean State hit the beach, have cookouts, and unfortunately get bitten by mosquitoes (when we’re not in the lab, which is obviously most of the time, honest). But recent research from a group of Dutch entomologists has provided new insight into how these evil beasts track us down.
By Christopher Dieni on May 9th, 2011
A few weeks back, I was sending tweets back and forth with Alan. It started when Alan had asked, in reference to a previous BenchFly blog post, whether it was better to focus on a specific research field, or to be a jack of all trades. I joked that I preferred to focus on what I liked to think of as “interdisciplinary research,” a professional (and slightly nerdy) way of portraying one’s self as a jack of all trades. This prompted Alan to say that as a Chemical Biologist, one could do just that.
By Shirley Wu on May 5th, 2011
If there was ever a “traditional” career path in science, we can officially throw it out the window. These days, scientists face many more options than the classic ‘Industry or Academia’ dilemma, but identifying those new opportunities can seem overwhelming at times. We sat down with Shirley Wu, Ph.D., Science Content Manager at personal genetic testing company, 23andMe, to find out how she paved the road to her new career path.
By Alan Marnett on May 2nd, 2011
One of the best departmental outings ever was a trip to the race track. Yes, The Track. Not so much for the horses, but for the sociological experiment that was inadvertently performed. As students and faculty lined up at the window to place bets, two clear populations emerged: those who bet a quarter per race and those who bet ten bucks. In other words, the risk-takers and the risk-averse. Interestingly, most of the risk-takers were also working for assistant professors.