Writing up a final report for my three-year fellowship and feeling kind of conflicted.

On the one hand, we didn't actually answer the question we said we were going to answer. This is mostly due to equipment issues, but also my own inexperience.

On the other hand, we actually found something really interesting which had nothing to do with our stated goals. That something just got submitted to a journal.

I'm honestly not sure whether or not this is a success.

Things I never thought I'd say as a biologist:

"I really wish I understood quantum mechanics better."

Computers are stupid. They only do exactly what you tell them to do.

What's your favorite scientific theory which turned out to be completely wrong?

If I had to choose, I think mine would be the luminiferous aether.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luminife

"Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind".

No guarantee I'm going to understand any of this, but it will be fun to try.

A large sea hare I saw yesterday on the beach. Possibly Dolabella auricularia. I uploaded it to iNaturalist to help with identification.

I like I just convinced my committee that using a certain experimental technique would be good for next experiment. Problem is, I've never used this particular technique. I feel like the dog that just caught the car it was chasing.

So I come into the lab today to find the vast majority of it coated in a fine layer of dust. I ask my lab manager what is going on. Apparently, the culprit is our buildings air conditioning system. Because our building is 70 years old and the university prioritizes new changing rooms for the football team over functional facilities for academics.
/rantover

Well, I'm stuck. Half my data makes sense. The other half is giving me fits.

Why is George Santayana not more popular? The man was a hell of a writer and his philosophy seems well suited to the modern age.

Got edits back on my paper from my PI. I've seen road maps with fewer red lines.

Two years ago, I told my boss that we should run some gene expression experiments for given study. He shot down the idea.

Today, he says to me that we need to run some gene expression experiments for our study. Gee, wish I'd thought of that.

NASA just announced that they have found organic carbon on Mars!

Now, that is emphatically NOT the same thing as finding life on Mars. Still, very cool news.

wgno.com/2018/06/07/nasas-curi

In retrospect, building my Ph.D around a piece of equipment that doesn't consistently work was probably a bad idea.

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Scholar Social

A Mastodon instance for academics

Scholar Social is meant for: researchers, grad students, librarians, archivists, undergrads, academically inclined high schoolers, educators of all levels, journal editors, research assistants, professors, administrators—anyone involved in academia who is willing to engage with others respectfully.

We strive to be a safe space for queer people and other minorities, recognizing that there can only be academic freedom where the existence and validity of interlocutors' identities is taken as axiomatic.

"A Mastodon profile you can be proud to put on the last slide of a presentation at a conference"

"Official" monthly journal club!

(Participation is, of course, optional)

Scholar Social features a monthly "official" journal club, in which we try to read and comment on a paper of interest.

Any user of Scholar Social can suggest an article by sending the DOI by direct message to @socrates@scholar.social and one will be chosen by random lottery on the last day of the month. We ask that you only submit articles that are from *outside* your own field of study to try to ensure that the papers we read are accessible and interesting to non-experts.

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