On Life Goals and Changes

It has been almost a year since I’ve posted in this space. I haven’t stopped doing science, I promise, but I have had some major changes in my life. As some of you may know, after getting my PhD, I took two postdocs that were both at government-run labs and discovered that I was required to get anything I wrote about my research reviewed before release. Obviously, this put a bit of a damper on my blogging activities because I wasn’t going to put in for approval for every blog post I wrote. In order to avoid this, I kept my blogging about my daily lab life far away from my blogging about actual scientific topics. I wrote a little about lab culture, but without discussing my current research.

And let’s be clear: when you are a laboratory researcher, a lot of your daily thinking about science energy is consumed with thinking about your own research. I found I just didn’t have the energy to learn about science outside of what I need to further my own project, but I didn’t want to write about that so that I didn’t inadvertently break rules at work.

In the meantime, I found myself becoming less and less enamored of laboratory research as a career. When you do laboratory research, you dive deep into one topic or field, and I found that I had broad interests, not deep ones. I loved going to conferences, because I knew just enough science to converse with a wide variety of presenters and understand a variety of presentations. And I started looking into science careers that didn’t involve just doing research.

Of course, my first thought was science writing, which I investigated, but ultimately ended up in a non-writing job in science publishing. It’s a very new experience, but part of my job is to learn about as much new science as I can. So given that, I now hope to keep this space updated a bit more often, and blog about not just social issues that affect scientists, but also new science that particularly catches me eye. And hopefully, it will work a bit more symbiotically than antagonistically with this new phase in my life.

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