Illustration by Angelika Manhart

This Scientific Life

Our contributors hail from all over the sciences — and all over the world. We’ll share what brought us to science, why we stay, and what makes us (occasionally) want to run away. There will be eureka moments, scientific screw-ups, advice to youngsters, peers, and elders, as well as whimsical stories about space exploration, fruit fly cognition, and how a neuron can live its best life.

My Biggest Goof...

Bad Timing

By Alex White

Something wasn’t right. Every time I pressed the button, the computer responded twice, spitting out two lines of text instead of one. I triple-checked my code, confirming that I had only written one command for the computer to display the words “button pressed.” So, what then? Was I accidentally pressing the button twice, somehow? The […]

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I knew I wanted to be a scientist when…

The Inner World

By Jennifer Lenow

I never knew I wanted to be a scientist. When I was a child, I voraciously read and, more than that, watched. Listened. For large swaths of time, too, I did nothing. (But stillness is not idleness.) I would sit in silence and inspect my own mind. Instead of disassembling radios (like Richard Feynman), or […]

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The sincerest form of flattery

Pride and Minipreps

By Yelena Bernardskaya

The serene atmosphere of the lab had been all but brought to a halt by a most extraordinary rumor concerning the current state of Miniprep efficiency. While it is common knowledge that the Miniprep is a most basic technique of using chemical components from a kit to extract circular DNA from bacteria, it is not […]

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Retorts

Dear Eclipse Hater…

By Nelia Mann

The phrase “scientific community” gets thrown around a lot. But the thing is, it really is a community. We don’t just rely on each other professionally. We form friendships and maintain relationships, even across national borders, and across oceans. We have our own culture, with its particular value system. We have our own history, our […]

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