Monday, June 09, 2008

You are on some road

[This post was written yesterday, on a plane. I've stolen the title from a Susan Musgrave poem.]

And so am I, metaphorically. I’m on the way to San Francisco, a city I’ve only visited once, for dinner. I’ll be delivering a blockbuster (hm, strange, as I typed that my fingers wanted to type something like “bollocks” – I hope that’s not prophetic) lecture tomorrow morning.

But for now, here I am sitting once again in the departure lounge at gate 151 of Lester B. Pearson International, airport code YYZ. Fortunately, the weather is a bit nicer than the last time I was here. Behind me, someone talking on his phone about how he’s off to an Apple conference, how Steve Jobs will be giving the keynote lecture, and how he’s burned a bunch of installation CDs for OS 10.whatever. Perhaps someone should let Mr. Jobs know.

But not me. I’m off to another conference, provocatively entitled “Beyond Genome – Tools to Therapies”, where I will talk about a) the genome, rather than anything that might be “beyond” it, and b) nothing to do with therapies for disease. But it should be fun, and a colleague and collaborator of mine is giving the talk right after mine. Monday morning, 11:15 AM Pacific Time, I will manifestly fail to change the course of scientific research and discovery. But it should be well-received, and I’m looking forward to it.

I don’t do enough of this, lecturing about science, these days. My own personal road has taken me in different directions, but now I find myself back in a research setting and liking it again. I’ve even managed to put the finishing touches on a scientific manuscript that I sent to the editors of the journal in question last week. That will be my first publication since 2006, which those of you in the academic world will recognize as a very low rate. There might be more of this in the future, though, which could be fun. Putting these things together, especially with a veritable host of co-authors, collaborators and hangers-on, can be a bit of an irritating challenge, but the end result, seeing the discoveries in print for the rest of the scientific community to read, is eminently gratifying. It will, ultimately, join my other publications in such esoteric journals as Cytogenetics and Cell Genetics, the European Molecular Biology Organization journal, and Genomics. Don't get all excited, now.

I’d better wrap up – these whimsical posts of mine tend to ramble a bit, and I’ll be boarding soon. In a few hours I’ll be in San Francisco, which is currently a pleasant ten degrees cooler than Toronto.

See you then.

1 comment:

Alethea said...

'Tis conference season. It's finally cooled down after sundown in Philadelphia. Good luck for your talk. I would be more than happy to publish in EMBO Journal. :-)

Meanwhile, I will go bask in the conference environment. It's stimulating, and I ate out well tonight... hope you do as well. It's not like there is a shortage of interesting people or good restaurants in San Francisco. Enjoy!