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Inspiring and Thought Provoking

Kick Start Your Research With Crowdfunding!

Like most scientists, you rely on grant monies to fund your research. Sustaining it depends on your ability to devise promising new ideas, collect new data and show proof-of-concept before writing another proposal to keep the cycle going. Only the best-of-the-best pilot projects seem to make the cut for experimentation when scarce lab funds are…

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How to win a Nobel Prize for Biology

In 1895, Alfred Nobel wrote in his Last Will and Testament that he wished the bulk of his sizable estate to “constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind.” Nobel made his…

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Book Review: “The Double Helix”, by James Watson

Is it just me, or are there not many well-written scientific memoirs around? Even the words “scientific memoir” brings up an image of a long and boring book. There are a lot of good books written about scientists, but not by scientists. Maybe it’s because the scientists are trained to write logically, objectively and dispassionately:…

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“What You Should Know About Science” — A Book Review of ‘The Golem’

I first read “The Golem: What You Should Know about Science” as an undergraduate student for an introduction to the sociology of scientific knowledge. I feel it’s an important book for anyone who wants to understand how science works. Ten years later, I still find myself revisiting it. Read on to find out why… In…

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Why do YOU do Science?

Most people that do scientific research for a living seem to have mixed feelings about their job. Many that I know are routinely day dreaming of quitting. This contrasts with the well-established, romantic image of the dedicated scientist who loves his/her work above anything else. So what is the real story? Do scientists really like,…

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Reasons to be a Scientist Part II

Scientists often complain about the job, and here on Bitesize Bio we are no different. For an example, take a look at my rant about why not to be a scientist – written about a year ago after a particularly frustrating couple of weeks in the lab. Very recently, I decided to leave bench science,…

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Inspirational Talks at TED

Imagine bringing some of the world’s greatest talkers and thinkers in a conference and challenging them to give the best talk of their life, on whatever they want to talk about. Wouldn’t that be an amazing event? And if someone videoed all of the talks and put them on a website, what a great resource…

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Top 5 Books from Experimental Biology

I just got done reading Ernst Mayr’s The Growth of Biological Thought, which is on the history and philosophy of biology, from Aristotle to ~1980 (written in 1982). Of particular interest to me was the section on the Modern Synthesis, where the views on evolution of the geneticists and other experimental biologists were reconciled with…

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10 Reasons NOT to be a Scientist

Ok, this week has been a bad week in the lab so far. A few weeks ago I wrote a post describing 15 reasons to be a scientist. Today I am in the mood to cross over to the dark side and give you 10 reasons NOT to be a scientist! Strangely I could only…

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