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International Conferences: Beers and Brexit

One of the highlights of academic research is the international conference. If one is fortunate enough to belong to a  well-funded research group, you will likely have the opportunity at some point to present your work, expenses paid, at an exotic location somewhere around the world.  PhD students are recommended to attend at least one international conference …

Pills and Pensions: Healthcare During the Greek Financial Crisis

Intense Financial Meltdown Unless you’ve been able to avoid all print and broadcast media over the summer, terms like ‘bailout’, ‘GDP’ and ‘austerity’ as well as organisations such as the IMF, ECB and Syriza have become synonymous with the intense financial meltdown in southern Europe. Depending on where you stand politically, it is likely your …

Collaborations: On Winning Friends and Influential Science

In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins extols the virtues of altruism and cooperation in benefitting species and their survival. For humanity, nowhere is this demonstrated more prominently than in scientific research where collaboration is essential in almost every aspect of the craft. Not only do they result in expansion of the knowledge base but also …

An Insider’s Guide to the Life Academic

The American comedian Lois C.K. in his act described the pursuit of undertaking a doctorate of philosophy as ‘not particularly impressive, as you basically just study one thing for three years’. What he doesn’t elaborate on though is just exactly how much breadth, adventure and variety there is to studying ‘just one thing’. Last week, my …