Monthly Archives: May 2011

Reach Out (CII’ll Be There) – York Festival of Science & Technology 2011

Eagle-eyed readers of Coffee & Cake, Pizza & Beer will have noticed that in the post about Final Year Talks, I made reference to some Outreach work I took part in back in March. Well, finally, two months down the line, I can tell you about it! Hurrah!

So why the delay? Long story short, I was waiting for the publication of my write-up about it in Microbiology Today, the magazine of the Society for General Microbiology. I wrote most of the text, and it was edited and shuffled by Marjan van der Woude and Philip Kerrigan. More importantly, does this count as my first ‘first author publication’? I’m saying ‘yes’, and to hell with you naysayers. Continue reading

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Coffee & Freebies – Beyond the seminars at the UKNSCN Conference 2011

There’s a scene in that ridiculous film The Day After Tomorrow when a climatologist returns to his research lab in Scotland from a scientific meeting in India. His colleagues ask him how the conference went, and he replies “Oh, you know what these scientific gatherings are like: All dancing girls, wine and parties.”

He is, of course, joking – I’m pretty sure climate conferences are boring now Al Gore isn’t popping in as often. But in other areas of science, Conference-Land is an exciting place, and attending meetings is definitely one of the perks of the job for young researchers. They are a vitally important forum for science, where a scientific field’s top class work is presented to everyone and anyone who’s interested. They are also a brilliant place to meet new people with which to have conversations about science and other things, potentially as a means to keeping in touch in the future – an important skill which most normal people call “making friends” but is called in Conference-Land “networking” (you can even take courses in “networking”, and trust me – nothing makes you feel more like a social retard).

Anyway, this year, I attended the UK National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN) Conference, which, as it happened, was held in York. As expected, there was some brilliant work being presented, in talks and posters alike. However, we both know that you didn’t come to Coffee & Cake, Pizza & Beer for a bone-dry meeting report – God help you if you did – so instead, here’s a run-down of what my lab colleagues (Matt & Patty) and I got up to between the talks.

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