Thursday, 6 January 2011

Me in a nutshell


Let me start with a brief introduction. My name is Megan, and I have a problem.

Two years ago, I was enjoying my postdoc in a cancer research institute in London. My days consisted mainly of staring at unconscious flies under a microscope, pipetting dilute solutions of nasty chemicals from one tube to another, and learning French swear words from my benchmate. I had the standard plans to start my own lab and live happily ever after within the Ivory Tower. Then something terrible happened. I came to the realization that I didn't actually want to be a scientist when I grew up. A career in science is kind of like a career in acting. It's great if you're Angelina Jolie, but waiting tables in Hollywood while being recognized as "that girl in the Colgate ad" isn't very satisfying. Unfortunately, I'm no Angelina. And I'm a lousy waiter. So I threw in the proverbial pipetteman and chose a new path.

Do I miss being at the bench doing experiments? No. Not a bit. Okay, sometimes I do. But not too much, and not for too long. I miss the "woo hoo!" moment. Anyone who's had one knows what I'm talking about. It's the bubbling excitement you get when you're first looking at the results of an experiment that really tests your theory, and everything is clean and clear and the answer is staring back at you from the film as you pull it out of the developer. At that moment, there's nothing to say other than "woo hoo!". Unfortunately, in the decade I spent doing research I can count my "woo hoo!"s  on one hand. Were those moments worth all the time and effort? Did my work change our fundamental understanding about health and disease, or even our understanding of a single subset of a single disease? If the answers were yes, I'd probably still be slugging away.

Science, however, is a bit addictive. I don't miss pipetting. What I really miss is reading about and discussing new ideas. Here's where the blog comes in. A blog is the perfect way for me to get my fix, without having to devote my entire life to a lab. So come and check out my posts for some ideas and discussions about discoveries, politics, and a few quirks and quarks. Comments are always very welcome.


1 comment:

  1. Hi Megan!
    I think your blog has a great potential! At least the reasons you mentioned to create it make a lot of sense, and I hope it does work out as your connection to science now that you're not hands-on. Will be looking forward to future posts too.
    Enjoy life with your children :) best!