My Path Through Research

The Trials and Triumphs of Doing a PhD

A Conference Experience

Last week the 9th Indoor Air Quality Meeting was held in Chalon-Sur-Saone, France. IAQ Meetings are  ‘all about the impact of the air quality on objects in museums, libraries, or archives’. As I have been doing some work on environmental conditions inside archives and libraries (which has also been published), I had submitted an abstract to present my work at the conference some months ago which luckily was accepted.

Presentation at the conference varied quite a bit though they all focussed on issues of indoor air quality in heritage environments. There were quite a number of case studies presented from various institutions, as well as the presentation of a number of sensor systems, including a wireless sensor network from a research assistant from the same centre as me. However, aside from the work which is relevant for my research (which of course I found very useful), I was particularly happy to hear presentations on the monitoring of airborne mould in heritage institutions. Having done an internship in microbiology, I always find it interesting to get back to that area of science!

The conference offered me a great opportunity to see the work other people working in the field are doing and to meet people I have been reading the work of and being in contact with over the past year. It also meant hearing all about the latest research in the area. It was exciting to get the opportunity to present and discuss my work, and in particular to see how my work fits into the bigger picture of heritage science. It has left me more excited and eager to keep on working on my project, in particular as I have more clearly seen the benefit of my work in conjunction with other work going on.

Now on to the next part of my research, the next paper, the next conference – the cycle goes on!


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Science in the News

I am sure most of you following the news have heard of the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC. You have probably heard of its breakdowns, problems and downtime.

However…drum roll please!…it is finally up and running…and the first high-energy collisions has occurred. I couldn’t let the event go by without mentioning such an achievement. I also wanted to point you towards the article in the Guardian by John Ellis, one of the senior physicists at CERN. As he says, “I want the LHC to be remembered for something that we have never previously talked about.”

That is also what I want for all of science…not just finding what we expect, but finding that which we don’t as well. I am sure this statement will come to haunt me some time (as it has already done at countless times), but then why do research if you only find what you expect?

I will leave you with this video from Tom Whyntie who won the NESTA FameLab Competition, talking about the work of the LHC, where he works

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