This quarter has been different – there is no doubt about that. Both Jonathan and I have spent lockdown with working partners (medical doctor and scientist) and two little ones each (all four kiddies under the age of five) and we were chatting the other day about how odd it is that he and I have only ever met physically in person three times. Sometimes people just “get on” and have aligned goals and ambitions, and The Black Hole has been a tremendous pleasure to share with Jonathan (and Beth Snow before!). This period of enforced online interaction has led to some serious Zoom fatigue, but we both hope that many new and good things can come from this period of lockdown as you’ll see from the range of posts below.
This quarter’s most popular posts were my recent post on career considerations during lockdown and Joanthan’s post from last summer entitled You are not a failure for wanting to leave academia which we imagine also got some extra readers during lockdown for similar reasons as the career considerations post. We hope that readers enjoy these and others. We also hope to write more on the positive things that might emerge from the introspective journey that many of us have been on over the last months (or the one we’ll go on after life gains some semblance of normality!). Our recent posts are listed below:
- Systemic racism: now is not the time to retreat into our offices or labs
- Incentive structures are needed to ensure scientific progress
- The financial cost of doing science
- The importance of educating scientists
- The biggest driver of scientific advances: people
- What science should look like in practice
- COVID-19: Scientists have lost their passive social check-in
- Is there an effective way to evaluate universities that takes a unique approach to education and social impact?
- Career considerations during lockdown
- Coronavirus and cancelled travel – some fringe benefits for researchers?
This quarter Dave has also written some more “science-y” stuff with a series of articles exploring recent scientific advances in blood stem cell gene therapy for a wide range of diseases over on the Signals blog:
- Blood stem cell gene therapy – the comeback kid of experimental medicine
- Obtaining more target cells for gene therapy
- Improving the efficiency of gene targeting in blood stem cells
- Bioengineering approaches to building stem cell “homes” outside the body
- Looking forward to the next few years in blood stem cell gene therapy
We’re looking forward to getting back to normal (even to whatever the new normal will be) and as always, encourage our readers to contribute their own articles to this column to gain some exposure for issues near and dear to their hearts.