Category Archives: Academia Nuts

End of week 9 update

No matter how determined I am to ‘write more’ of any sort (and there is a direct correlation between the quantity of writing here and the quantity of work done on drafts of papers – more blogging = more writing), … Continue reading

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If I had a million dollars…what I’d do!

£50,000 is an interesting sum for UK academics – it’s just about enough for a PhD studentship funded at RCUK rates and some consumables (potential issue with fees but not a major one). It’s probably about enough for a 1-year … Continue reading

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If I had a Million dollars….

Thought experiment for academics: If someone handed you £50,000 (approx 65,000 euros and $80,000 US), what would you do with it? Would you use it for work related purposes? Perhaps a sabbatical, pump priming a pet project or funding a … Continue reading

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Chemical Shortcuts

I was writing some lecture notes this morning when it occurred to me that I’d probably never told my students of some shortcuts that are really useful. I was trying to draw structures for a synthetic route towards paclitaxel…trying is … Continue reading

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REPOST:The Ritualistic Nature of Literature Searching

I’m reposting this today as I’ve got a session with our 2nd years on information literacy this afternoon. We’ll be covering Web of Science searches along with other hints and tips for wrangling the scientific literature. First published February 9th, … Continue reading

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On the process of doing research.

Question: if you are the first person in the known universe to attempt a reaction, why on earth would you assume that the reaction has worked and progress to the next step without characterising your product fully? I appreciate that … Continue reading

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The role of repetitive examples: practice makes perfect?

A few months ago, I read a journal article that I have subsequently lost track of. It was on cognitive demand/overload and related to calculations. If I recall correctly, it showed that the simplest type of calculation is essentially using … Continue reading

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Handling Information

We place pretty high value on developing skills in information retrieval and handling frequently conflicting information in our curricula, but we’re not the best at it ourselves sometimes! My ‘mission’ over the past few months has been to reduce the … Continue reading

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Bottom Lines and Reproducibility

I have a thing about reproducibility. I’m not the only one as this post on In The Pipeline shows.  Nothing annoys me more than someone spending their time and someone else’s money to carry out an experiment then not taking … Continue reading

Posted in Academia Nuts, Chemistry, reactions, Teaching | 2 Comments

On Final Year Projects

After a week of meeting with new project students, and answering many of the same questions several times, I’ve been scouting back through the archives looking for what I’ve said previously on the subject of surviving a final year project. … Continue reading

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