"It came to me in a dream." This sentence has been the explanation given by visionaries throughout history for their inspiration: religious mystics, Frank Ocean, this amazing footnote. But as the rudder that steers the passage of a career in an ordinary life? That seems foolhardy. And yet ... such dreams can clarify subconscious desires. … Continue reading When to weigh anchor
Since coming to Guatemala, I have been consumed by mastering a song by Natalia LaFourcade. It’s called “Soledad y el Mar” (Loneliness and the Sea). With its lulling lyrics and its swaying rhythm, it’s the perfect bittersweet tune to play before bed. Week Three (25th Feb - 2nd Mar) was the week I finally cracked … Continue reading Soledad y el Mar
For my first blog post while in Guatemala this spring, I thought I would write about scales of time and distance. It’s something I think a lot about, especially because my research is split between two distant countries, and because 2.5 years into my PhD, I have rather more time to reflect on than to … Continue reading A sense of scale
At some point in the second year of your PhD, there comes a wave of fear. I learned about this phenomenon in my first months here: while preparing coffee in the Common Room, friends would whisper of mysteries like "The Second-Year Blues", or "The Valley of Shit". Now that I'm in their position, I get … Continue reading Holding back the wave
According to my front page, I last published a post six months ago. Yikes! Keeping up a regular blog was one of my resolutions for last year that fizzled out. That isn't to say that writing has completely slipped my mind. Quite the opposite: there have been many moments in 2017 that I really wanted … Continue reading Return to writing
Last month, I had the opportunity to participate in several outreach events around Bristol. With Cotham School Science Club, I made baking soda volcanoes and played risk with party poppers; I gave an interview on the Love & Science BCfm Radio show (May 15th podcast); I prepared for Bristol Doctoral College's "Research without Borders" Showcase … Continue reading What is the purpose of outreach?
The fourth eruption of 2017 of Volcán de Fuego, Guatemala, began in the morning of Thursday 4th May. The national monitoring institute, INSIVUMEH, released several special bulletins providing information as the eruption progressed. The early stages included the development of two lava flows, in the Santa Teresa and Las Lajas river valleys; by 21:30 local … Continue reading Notes from the field
Note - I begin each year with a plan; with a resolve that dissolves by the middle of Jan. My New Year’s Resolution is to have fewer resolutions. My other resolutions are also good. One of them is to write more frequently. I hope you enjoy this new blog and its contents! I recently returned … Continue reading A volcanologist is for life, not just for crises