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March 22nd, 2010:

Regarding Scientists…

Finally, let me speak up for scientists. In my experience, the vast majority of scientists are honest, sometimes slightly nerdish people who are grateful to be able to work on something about which they have a passionate interest. Scientists can be arrogant: but overall they do not deceive themselves, or the public.

From an article written by¬†Philip Strange. I’m not sure about slightly nerdy, but there is a lot of variation even among people studying science, and I’m probably at the nerdy end of the spectrum.

Getting back in the saddle

I got back from the maize meeting in Italy last night to find my DSL connection at home was dead again. I’m now at work and think I’m pretty much caught up with the backlog of internet related stuff that accumulated during my absence. So if you e-mailed me, tweeted at me, or commented on a post sometime in the last week, please accept my apologies for not getting back to you before now.

And if you still haven’t heard back from me, please try getting in touch again.

Random thoughts from my travels:

  • Carrying a 40 inch long poster case 1/3 of the way around the earth and back again certainly gives me a new appreciation for the training old fashioned riflemen (whose rifles were much longer than my poster) must have had.
  • Travelling with three other Americans makes other countries seem a lot less foreign. We talked among ourselves in english, and while the language barrier meant we never asked for directions, as a group of four men we wouldn’t have been living up to our stereotype by asking for directions even if we’d been able to. Walk even 100 feet away and the awareness of being in a strange land (and not speaking a word of the native language), suddenly sinks in.
  • German airports list departing flights by time of departure, not the name of the destination city. (It look an embarrassingly long moment to realize flights weren’t simply listed at random.)