Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weeknote #20 (w/e/ 26/9/10)

Better late than never...

It's hard to believe that our NanoInfoBio project is a year old, but it's true. We held the year end workshop last week, attended by twenty-four participants (a very decent turnout, given that it was held on the first day of freshers' week...) We're now well clear of the initial "explore and engage" phase, and are beginning to investigate how we might make nano-info-bio science a sustainable research area at MMU. Obviously, in order to do this, we need further funding, so the main focus of the second twelve months will be the development of research programmes and proposals. Four good project ideas emerged (or were dusted down!) at the meeting, and Naomi's job will be to coordinate the teams responsible for bringing these to fruition.

Exciting news to report on the writing front; back in August I was invited by Ra Page of Comma Press to consider a new collaboration between scientists and writers. A previous volume, When It Changed, contained short stories that emerged from discussions between authors and scientists, and offered "fictionalised glimpses into the far corners of current research fields". The book was very well-received, and they've decided to do another one (with a different focus, and I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to say about this). I was invited to propose one or more ideas for consideration by the set of authors they've signed up, and I was absolutely delighted to hear that one of mine was chosen by Jane Rogers. I'll act as a "scientific consultant", while Jane actually writes the story, and I'm very much looking forward to starting our collaboration next week, with an initial meeting in Manchester.

I'm now installed in my new office, so a trip to Ikea is very much on the cards. Room on the Broom in Buxton was a tremendous success; they're coming to the Lowry at the end of October, and I'd highly recommend it if you have young children (or even if you don't).

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