Getting my Ducks in a Row

Scientist on Assignment

Department of Physics Blogs
Published: August

I’m on the bus heading into London for my first full day at the FT. It’s the Tuesday after the long weekend but I’m not as rested as that might lead you to believe. Being a BSA media fellow will take me out of the lab for an entire month, which is a long time for a post-doctoral researcher. It will be entirely worth it but disappearing for such a long amount of time requires putting my house in order.

Over the weekend, I had to write up a brief contribution to the Supporting Material of a collaborator’s thesis, re-submit a manuscript and complete a response to referee reports. Usually, this is all just mundane business but I doubt that I’ll have much time or energy to work on these this month and none of these jobs can just sit on my computer collecting dust for that long. None of this work has to do with my current work at Oxford — they are all loose ends from my Ph.D.

My current research had a successful month. I say “my research had”, rather than “I had” because theoretical work, perhaps like artistic endeavours, cannot always be forced. Just because I work hard does not always mean that concrete progress is made. But this month was good. I’ve been constructing a coarse-grained computer algorithm for simulating flowing (nematic) liquid crystal fluids.  At the beginning of the month, it wasn’t clear to anyone that my idea could actually be realized into a computationally useful algorithm but it’s clear now that it will work. There are, of course, still wrinkles that need to be ironed out but all-in-all I’m excited about it. I wonder if I’ll be able to fit a little development in on the side while working at the FT. I do have these daily trips into  London, after all.