Thursday, July 08, 2010

Weeknote #8 (w/e 4/7/10)

To Paris, for the regular board meeting of our European Union BACTOCOM project. We launched the project with a workshop in Manchester, and partners take turns to organize subsequent meetings. We'll be in Santander in October, and then Berlin next year. Whilst browsing in the Abbey Bookshop in St. Michel, I noticed a copy of Genesis Machines, and had Justine record the fact that it was still on sale, in a proper shop. The subsequent scene ensured that I was brought to the attention of Brian, the proprietor, who kindly asked me to sign the last remaining copy in stock (i.e., the single copy they ordered three years ago).

Prior to leaving for Paris, we had quite a busy week; in addition to finishing off and submitting a research council proposal, we're now heavily into the preparations for our contributions to the Manchester Science Festival. So far, we have a couple of workshops lined up (I don't want to spoil the surprise until the details are confirmed), plus a public debate on the scientific, technological and ethical implications of synthetic biology and so-called artificial life. Watch this space for more details nearer the time.

On a personal note, I was delighted to receive confirmation of my promotion to a Readership. Most of my family members were quite baffled by this antiquated term, until I explained that it's the academic rank below Professor (in the UK), and is awarded on the basis of research.

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