Books I’ve read

This is self-explanatory, really. Here is every book I’ve read since summer 2015. (Mainly for my own record, but you might find something interesting there.) Not sure about the exact order, and I might have left some out. I will try to complete and extend the list as I go along. There is going to be no commenting or rating, and having read a book doesn’t necessarily mean I think it’s great. Most of them are, though. Books are awesome.

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A jeho žena

As many of my friends know (and some of them from awkward personal experience), I like walking around cemeteries. Cemeteries from the Austro-Hungarian monarchy are especially great, because you can learn a lot about the people buried there and the time they lived in. Not just names and dates and places of birth and death. Often, the headstone will also inform us about a person’s station in life, their job, their academic and professional titles. It will tell us, for instance, that the deceased was a Doctor of Philospohy. Or an officer for the royal-imperial postal service. Or a house owner’s widow. I love it.

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Ten books for a bioscience library

I am spending a quarter of each year on the Haining International Campus of Zhejiang University, teaching in a joint Zhejiang/Edinburgh degree programme in Biomedical Sciences. A while ago, we were asked to provide suggestions for books to be added to the newly-to-be-established campus library. Of course, all the standard textbooks will be there, but it got me thinking about what other books I would consider valuable reads for budding biomedical scientists. And, more especially, what books I have enjoyed myself.

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Nightmare PhDs

All happy PhDs are alike. Every unhappy PhD is unhappy in its own way.

There was a story in the Guardian not long ago about a young scientist who had supposedly found a dream PhD position, only to then find the lab ill-equipped, the supervisor under-prepared and the institution unsupportive.

Now, my own PhD was a happy experience (not just saying that because my supervisor is probably reading this. Hi Nicolas! But it really was.) But I have seen so many unhappy PhDs, and so many different ways in which a PhD can fail.

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