Wednesday, 23 September 2009

PhD Comics Talk

Wednesday 28th October at 4pm - 5pm (followed by a drinks reception)
The Perrin Lecture Theatre (WhiteChapel Campus)
Book now on the Courses Section of the ESD website using Course Code R235.

Jorge Cham of 'PhD Comics' fame is coming to give a talk entitled 'The Power of Procrastination' at Queen Mary This humorous talk will focus on the life of PhD students, representing the ups and downs in the form of comic strips. As it addresses some of the issues related to research life in general, it should appeal to both PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.

Just a Suggestion...

We know that you have ideas... and lots of them!
In order to help your voice be heard, we have introduced SUGGSTION boxes to help improve the flow of ideas!

The box is located in the South Write-up area in the PhD students’ bay - GWND-C.
Please drop in your ideas, suggestions for improvement, wish lists etc…

You can send an anonymous message, to my email id, using the weblink below.

All suggestions will be treated in confidence and routed through the centre lead.
You can post anonymously or include your name if you would like to be contacted.

With best Wishes

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Book Reviews

How to ... David Allen

Having never really thought of myself as the “self-help” kinda gal I approached this with some trepidation. However, a solution to my time management crisis was acutely required and i was prepared to try anything!

This book is an informal jaunt, through an organisation strategy which has apparently revolutionised half of America. Complete with monologues and streams of consciousness and informal chatty language, it sets out, not just a way out of your endless “to do lists” but a whole new way of running your life. It basically runs along the idea that while your brain is trying to remember all of the stuff you need to do, it is unable to do any of them effectively so the solution is to download your “physic ram” in to a robust collection system which you can review and add to easily. Your newly off-loaded brain will once again process with speed and your effortless productivity will refresh your creativity and see you achieving goals you never thought possible!

I make it sound awful, but really I liked this book. In fact i seriously would like to implement its system.... it requires a serious life rearrangement and he recommends to read it again in 3 months for fine tuning. If I manage to achieve this effectively it will clearly be obvious to you all!?!

I would definitely recommend reading it just for the ideas and a new perspective but as a regime it wont be for everyone.

Bad Science by Dr Ben Goldacre (On order)

A young physician with a penchant for ranting but an appropriate degree of restraint, ben goldacre has written a very entertaining book with a very serious message. Have you thought for sometime that the claims in the magazines your best mate reads about the next detox diet or the nirvana-like benefits of colonic irrigation were just getting a little bit far-fetched? Why is it that we all do science with a view to creating robust data that will benefit the general public in some way and yet the adverts in the chemist tell us confidently that the answer was in conker flowers all the time? What qualifications do these people have to claim such authority...well may you ask...and the disturbing thing is very little! From the correspondence PhD from some kooky american university to the self awarded degree from your own company’s college these self promoting health gurus have influenced our lives more than we might at first appreciate. Ben goldacre applys a little of the evidence-based skills that we all try to live by to the people earning a lot of money in the health-related industry. Some of it is interesting and some is down-right criminal (specifically the South African Government’s stance on HIV and AIDs ). Read it and weep – and work out why it is that no-one believes in real science and what we could do to reverse that.

The rise and fall of modern medicine by james le fanu (On order)

An informal and entertaining journey through some of the most important medical discoveries in the last fifty years. From penicillin to chemotherapy and the development of the heart and lung by-pass machine the dedication and heart-warming passion to achieve these breakthroughs spills out from the pages. Yes it was just after the war and yes time were different but actually some of it was really quite recent. In addition to persistence over adversity there are the stories which just prove what you thought all along...yes doctors are just plain bonkers! From mr charnley who implanted bits of metal in his leg to establish the most inert one from which to make his hip joint replacement and the husband and wife duo who invented the heart-lung bypass machine - he swallowed copious amounts of ice-water while she monitored the temperature changes with a thermometer stuck in his bottom! From small acorns large oak tree grow... the question is where will we be tomorrow?

Reviewed by Jo Manson