Purely a figment of your imagination

What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz

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I haven’t been on many planes in my time.

Only a grand total of 7 so far (odd number because I had to get a connection on my way to the AACR conference in Florida last year!). Many others my age and younger have been on more than that before they’ve celebrated 7 birthdays. When I fly, I’m generally quite overwhelmed by the stress of the airport, but I enjoy the flight itself. Here are some musings about that.

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The Future of Science?

Yesterday I went to the Dana Centre, attached to the Science Museum, where we were challenged to listen to a series of presentations and decide to whom we would entrust our scientific future. Or something to that effect! Apparently it was to be like speed-dating, without the dating bit, unless you actually got those signals from someone…

The presentation format, called Pecha Kucha, involves 20-slide presentations from each participant and they’re allowed to spend 20 seconds on each slide. This makes for a fast-paced, info-packed session, particularly good for those of us who tend to tune out when talked at for too long.

I loved it and highly recommend future events to everyone.

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Cake or beer? I’ll have the cake, please.

Yesterday was the Science Blogging Talkfest event – photos from (the very sneaky photographer!) Rebecca Smith here, a couple of which I’ve now stolen (below). So, it was Talkfest and I’m talking in most of the pictures. Makes sense but looking quite ridiculous.

Basically some bloggers/readers of blogs/journalists/editors/Tweeters got together to have cake and tea/beer, discuss science blogging and the universe then drink the local pub dry.

A success, I reckon (even if the aims weren’t too clear, it’s sparked a lot of discussion).

So, after the sparkly cupcakes (which, as Ed Yong pointed out, were probably designed mainly to make everyone look equally ridiculous and break the ice) we sat down to have a Q&A with the panel about the purpose, merits and pitfalls of Science Blogging (and a bit about blogging in general).

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Science Only Adds; Don’t Cut the Budget!

Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers.

– Voltaire

Yesterday evening I attended the 2010 Voltaire Lecture at Conway Hall, a venue that hosts events, discussions and talks on ethical principles and education. Firstly, apologies to physicists for whatever horrible mistakes I may make; feel free to correct me/add necessary info in comments!! My particle physics is limited to 1st yr undergrad chemistry, much of which is now very vague…

This year the speaker was Prof. Brian Cox, winner of the BHA’s 2006 Lord Kelvin award and I can recommend his TED talk as a kind of mini-version. Before he started I was both amused and disappointed upon hearing a remark from behind me to the tune of:

I probably wouldn’t have come if it weren’t a guy off the telly… I liked the programmes, the science is interesting

– bloke in the audience.

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