There are some important tricks to enjoying a life in science, which are the subject this book by a truly happy scientist. Forty years and it never seemed like work, more like play. Why? The author was in his element, and he had a trade that he also enjoyed, Pathology. This took the pressure off when the grants didn't come in. Sometimes the grants don't come it. It's a competitive world, that of the professional scientist.
But so interesting and valuable.
That's how you survive in science, as a happy scientist, you find your element, which might turn out to be a surprise. It will honestly turn work into play. That doesn't mean you will not have to put in a bunch of effort, but it just doesn't feel like work.
You can't trust a university education or a PhD to get you your dream research job! In fact, this can be a risky endeavor in academia given the challenges of obtaining reliable grant funding.
The approach taken by the author, as detailed in his enlightening autobiographical tales, followed a different path.
The book contains dozens of valuable tips concerning how to find good research ideas, question the obvious, and deal with difficult managers and other staff. He also explains how to gain mastery of public speaking and handle those difficult questions, when to wear a suit and when not to, and why you should follow your dreams.
Based on personal experience, the author strongly recommends that you learn to think like a cell for success in the new biological sciences, and new they are - omics has only just started to influence, expand and challenge our thinking.
Cells are exquisite engineers. It's what they do.
Born in Bristol, England during World War II while bombs were falling, he became enamored of biology at an early age. Dissatisfied with the life of a country veterinarian, as he found it hard dealing with people, the author was finally fortunate to find his true calling, pathology or the study of the nature of disease. A somewhat delayed love of mathematics and engineering played a major role in the last two decades of his career. His research adventures incorporated many branches of science, including ultrastructural morphology, neuropathology, biochemistry and hematology, respiratory physiology, behavioral science, computational fluid dynamics, network mathematics and transcriptomics.
The author decided to leave his scientific career during a final invited lecture, the keynote address to a small scientific society. He realized that 40 years was quite enough. He needed to step aside for the next generation. After his lecture entitled, "Paradigm Shifts In Biology," several young scientists in the audience came up to ask him,
"What would you do if you were just starting your career in the biological sciences?"
He replied without hesitation:
"I would choose a trade that is needed in scientific research that could earn me a living outside of research, master it, then study mathematics and multiple branches of engineering.
"This small book provides dozens of useful tips for surviving and enjoying a life in scientific research from the author's life as a happy scientist, Jack of all trades, master of one.