.For several years, I have intended to start a blog. I chose this name because of an old bet with my brother, who has a Ph.D. in Spanish literature with a focus on fascism in Franco-era Spain. While we were both graduate students, we each picked a word from our discipline for the other to (try to) include in a paper. You won if the other person could not find a way to include your word. I won by selecting the word “aliquot”.
Disclaimer: I don’t pretend it’s a unique name. I assume another protein chemist or publication has a blog or column with this name, and I apologize for appearing to steal or copy it. I have two small children under 5 years old, and I’m weeks behind on work, so I didn’t have time to check this one.
My original reason for starting a blog was to provide a perspective broadly related to academic career and professional training and advice. I briefly worked outside academia as a management consultant between my Ph.D. and postdoc, so my career path has been non-traditional. I was the first woman in my family to go to college and to get a professional degree, and I wasn’t raised to think of research or academia as a career because no one I knew had done that. As a faculty member, we frequently hear we should encourage and support trainees to pursue all sorts of careers. I fully endorse this but find faculty are not good at really training people for other career choices. In my opinion, many faculty provide bad advice to trainees about academic careers. And frankly some advice is even near-catastrophic if you move to a company or different industry.
But events over the past days, weeks, and months have brought a new urgency. Writing is a form of thinking and sharing and communicating. We have all been isolated, away from our colleagues and friends. We know Zoom meetings are not the same, and so sharing through writing takes on new urgency. Some topics may be broader than I originally intended.
Those who know my RCR (NIH-style “responsible conduct in research”) seminars for molecular biophysics at Vanderbilt will know I like to raise awkward or difficult subjects. I intend to keep doing that to promote discussion among scientists, and hopefully perhaps among an even wider audience. Also, the views here are obviously entirely my own.
Please stay tuned and share if you’re interested, and please reach out in comments (link below) or through website contact form.