• Lab management, time management and the joy of getting things done

    by: in: Musingson April 29, 2016

    Being a Lab Manager at the Interface Group or any other Research Lab is definitely an interesting and rewarding experience. It can also be infinitely frustrating when one realizes that the rate of task inflow has risen above the rate of task outflow. At this point it will be painfully obvious that the only way forward is to increase their productivity, and a good way to do that is through discipline and organization. I would like to write a few words on how I manage to get my head above water and keep it there, in the hopes that you, the reader, might be inspired to pick up a tip or two.

  • What children bring to science

    by: in: Education, Musingson April 25, 2016

    A 6-year old looking at the sea, following the trajectories of a jet ski and ocean liner:

    “Why, in case of a collision, can it not be the jet ski that wins??”

    Bright and clear: Momentum, energy. You enthusiastically translate the scene into a series of equations, 15 minutes of monologue, excitation, gestures, before concluding with a pinch of emotion in your voice, your arm pointed towards the horizon “Quod erat demonstrandum!”.

  • Science and art: how diverse and unique

    by: in: Musingson April 20, 2016

    Science and art are classically branded with opposing characteristics: science is objective, supports understanding the nature and answers long-standing questions, while art is subjective, elicits new thoughts instead of responding to established inquiries, and in fact, is used as a self-expression tool. The question is whether this classical branding represents science and art truthfully.

  • The struggle with p-values

    by: in: Researchon April 12, 2016

    For most of my professional life I have thought that “statistically significant” results are marked by a p-value of less than 0.05, and that, if the test is used correctly, everything is cool and dandy and can be published. Well…. “if the test is used correctly” is the important consideration here, and it has always been.

  • Pigeons know better

    1 comment
    by: in: Musings, Researchon April 4, 2016

    When your experiments went wrong again, when you just spent another weekend trying to guess what the experimental protocol should be, and, especially if you feel like you’re losing control, talk to a pigeon!