I have been going back and forth about whether or not to start this blog. There are a lot of voices out there, and the addition of another one might seem insignificant. I have, however, decided to go ahead with it. Here are five of the reasons:
1. Some of my present salary and much of the money that paid for my education came out of taxpayers’ money. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that means you. (Well, depending on where you live and what your attitude towards actually paying tax is). Anyway, I am grateful for this. And in return, I think I owe you updates about what I’ve been up to at work, where it’s all going and why I’m doing it.
2. I love what I do. I sometimes get very excited about it. (Ask my friends, they all know what my favourite protein is, for instance.) I want to share some of this love and excitement. Maybe out there, some of you can relate to it.
3. I think I should do more thinking. You know, about stuff. During a busy day in the lab, deep quiet reflection often gets sidelined a bit. I notice that I find it easier to think if I write stuff down, so blogging might actually be a good way for me to become a better thinker.
4. I look at learning and memory in the lab (more specifically at the proteins in the brain that are involved in forming new memories and at how they work). But I am also a learner outside the lab, and I have long wondered how the “macroscopic” experience of being a learner relates to the microscopic changes that happen in the brain. At least having a place where I write about both things might help me see the connections. Kind of “if you build it, they will come”.
5. I wanted to become a scientist because I love science. But when I made the decision, I did not know what being a scientist would be like. What do we do in a typical day? How do we plan our lives? What are our aspirations and our worries? Some of this blog will address this, because I think people who consider a career in science should know what they are signing up for. (And maybe some people who do not consider a career in science might be tempted into changing their minds!)