on blo(pi)gging

I first started thinking about doing a PhD in my second year at Oxford. At the time I had a look at the graduate study sections on the Department of Statistics website and eventually found my way to BLOPIG, a blog maintained by the protein informatics group. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of protein informatics research and because the group is so large, the blog covers an impressive range of topics. As an undergraduate I could maybe sort of follow one post in three, and from these I made two conclusions:

  • OPIG sounds like a great group to work in, and
  • people doing DPhils are way too smart.

I definitely entertained the idea that one day I’d become a scientist cool enough to be BLOPIG-worthy, but I also worried a lot that I just wasn’t that clever. Fast-forward about four years and you’ll find me sitting at my desk in the department, often worrying that people around me are far more clever than I am. Despite the fact that I’m currently in OPIG… I suspect that my 19-year-old self would find me a bit ridiculous. Since then I’ve learnt the following:

  • OPIG is indeed a fantastic group to be in,
  • people doing DPhils are incredibly smart, and
  • attending group meetings massively helps with understanding what the blog posts are about.

Oh, and a while ago I wrote a thing. We end up in curious places, I suppose.




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