I am scientist by training, inclination and temperament. However, this is a blog, not a lab. The title reflects my passion for hyperbole, so don't take me too seriously. I don't. I was a technician in a physiology lab, got my PhD in molecular genetics and neuroscience, was a postdoctoral fellow in biophysics and now am a Project Manager in a Clinical Science/Biomedical Informatics institute. I am a scientific jack-of-all-trades, and very happy because of it. I write about science that catches my eye, making the transition away from the lab bench, and the slightly odd and moist boundary where science culture meets the public. I am an Englishman by birth, an American by temperament and if I were you I wouldn't lend me money.
My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.
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Day four has opened with a whimper thanks to the Pittsburgh Steelers underwhelming defeat at home. The New England Patriots simply out played them. It sucked. Tom Brady, Patriots quaterback, was excellent at finding space and advancing his team down the field. The famous Steelers "Iron Curtain" (also called the Steel Curtain by some fans) simply couldn't contain the rush. The Steelers offence faired no better and our quarterback, the infamous Ben Roethlesberger spent a great deal of time on his back under a mountain of defensive linemen. To make matters worse, the other teams in our division (Cincinnati, Cleveland and Baltimore) all lost so we could should have taken a commanding lead of the division for the second half of the season. This defeat was made worse by coming on the back of a major Penn State defeat on Saturday. The Nittany Lions rolled over in the NCAA and let the Ohio State Buckeyes win the game in the fourth quarter.
Ah, the life of a Steelers fan is never easy.
What's that? Oh, right, science, yeah.
This morning was quiet for me, there were a couple of interesting mini-symposia and a some posters I looked at, but nothing too awe inspiring. I mentioned yesterday that my research interests have changed over the last couple of years. Traditionally I would have been geeking out over the excitatory amino acid stuff, and the glutamate receptor structure and function stuff. And I still have a fond space in my usually twisted heart for the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic transmission. But nowadays, well I live in a different world. And it's not just the science.
As a grad student I was learning a hell of a lot about the science I was studying and falling in love with. And as a postdoc I changed fields, jumped the synapse as it were, so there was still a lot of learning. Sometimes one learned by reading posters, but more often one learned and grew from talking to other postdocs about their research. But I am no longer a postdoc, and I a pretty fucking far away from being a grad student.
If my career was more 'traditional' I would be a PI, a faculty member. I would be talking to collaborators and possible collaborators. I would be selling my work to the editors of the journals, and schmoozing with my program officers at the NIH or NSF. Well, I am not faculty, but to all intents and purposes I am a PI. I co-lead a group of Pups (c.f. grad students) and Rats (c.f. postdocs). I write grants (and hope they get funded), I write papers (they get published). So what have I been doing this trip?
Networking. I have been walking the walk and talking the talk of the group leader for the first time and I'll tellIt you something. feels pretty fucking good.
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You have to walk with the fucking PI swagger/pimpstrut.
"Pimpin holmes"? I'm trying to mentally frame that statement and your accent together, and it's all pear shaped.
Ugh. If listening to people blither on about Penn State = networking, I will never be a PI. Or a PI-like-substance. (PI-lite? PI-helper? I-can't-believe-its-not-PI?)
Haha - even I'm beating you in the footy pool and I don't know even where the from Steelers are from.* And Odyssey is beating you, too. Down with the pommy bastards!
* Ok, I do know where the Steelers are from. I'm not that stupid.**
** They're from Texas, right?
@Becca: There was surprisingly little football talk during the networking discussions :)
@PiT: bite me