Origins

Posted: February 22, 2011 in About the author

This is the requisite initial post that let’s you in on a little bit about about me and why I’m blogging. As noted in the tagline (or strap line as they call it here in the UK), I am an American life scientist currently living in the UK for my first postdoctoral position. The “life, universe and everything” quote* is from the title of a book by one of my favorite authors, Douglas Adams. His “Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy” trilogy (which is actually five books, a bit of British humor I suppose) was actually one of my first introductions to British culture as a wee lad. Granted, at the time I didn’t really grasp much of it, I enjoyed it nonetheless. Upon re-reading it again in my early 20’s I enjoyed it quite a bit more and it is one of the few sets of books I will certainly sit down to read again. At the time I didn’t realize the Hithchiker’s Guide was also providing my life with it’s own bit of foreshadowing.

So my intention at the outset is to blog about a variety of topics. I have no intention of this being or becoming a “disgruntled postdoc” blog. Perhaps this may be due in part to the fact that I have only recently begun the postdoctoral part of my career. However, I was never a disgruntled graduate student (I quite enjoyed my experience) and I don’t see any major issues coming about in my current lab or with my current advisor. My advisor and I get along very well and s/he has a style that works well for me.

I intend to blog about life as a scientist in an academic environment with a focus on cultural differences between the US and the UK/EU. I also intend to discuss cultural differences in general that may not necessarily directly pertain to research or science. There will probably be some career stuff thrown in and who knows what else. My intention is also to use this as an outlet for more creative type writing since science writing can be quite bland at times. I may also discuss literature and/or philosophy, two other topics that, while I’m not much of an expert on, I quite enjoy in that small slice of time that isn’t devoted to science or family. Finally, I have always been a fan of hip-hop music (hence the name, and I’m not talking about the crap you hear on the radio…more on that in a later post), a fact that, combined with being an American scientist in the UK, likely makes me a minority of one. So hopefully I can find some like minded folk out there in the wild west that is the internet!

So that’s it! Feel free to comment, even on older posts. I hope to keep things stimulating!

*Sorry! Changed my tagline recently…either way I will be musing about life, the universe and everything!

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Comments
  1. Bashir says:

    I can’t listen to British hiphop. The accent doesn’t work for me.

  2. Worm Pilot says:

    Sounds interesting! I had no intention of becoming a disgruntled postdoc, I would say I became both disgruntled and confused, but I’m hoping you have a much more positive experience! I think it’s great you took the leap to go to a foreign country-hopefully you’ll find that the UK is simultaneously different and similar in surprising ways! I myself am facing a potential move overseas to Japan (military husband). It’ll be interesting to hear about your experiences ‘over the pond’. I wonder how much work and lab and how that fits into life is different over there. I know a couple professors from the UK who lament how much Americans work compared to their home. Be interesting to see if that’s true! Good luck!

    • funkdoctorx says:

      Thanks for the comment! I certainly do look to blog more about some of the differences in academia here in the UK versus the US. One question I’ve gotten from several folks in my lab concerns the hours. Thus far I just tell them that it depends on the lab quite a bit (and I think it does), but overall we definitely work more hours in the US versus the UK (and Europe). However, I don’t know that this is unique to academia as I have heard from others that “Americans live to work, Europeans work to live”.

  3. Worm Pilot says:

    Oops! Missed one of your comments to me! Yeah, looks like we started right about the same time! Anyway, best of luck! Looking forward to reading more from you!

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