Nature Chemistry | The Sceptical Chymist

Materials Girl: Delays

Posted on behalf of Materials Girl

It seems that the editors have lately been posting on the go, so I figured I could get away with adding my own little adventures to the mix… I am on the return trip from a weekend visit to L.A. – it’s now back up north to finish the last month of my internship. At the moment, my flight is under “mechanical delay” for technicians to “take a look at” an emergency latch. We are projected to depart under an hour late, so it’s nothing like Stu’s mishaps on route to ACS conferences. It must be said, however, that the cause of the delay is of some concern. I can just imagine the emergency door detaching mid-flight, with me in the adjacent seat…

In terms of more chemistry-related delays, labwork has been slowing lately due to finishing a milestone in my project and working on a poster for our facility-wide presentation day. Speaking of which, this is the first scientific poster I have created. Any tips? Succinctness, accuracy, organization, and overall aesthetic pleasure are my current goals – along with providing tangible evidence that chemistry outshines the other research departments. We will definitely have prettier pictures than, say, the CS people. (Synthesizing fluorescent nanoparticles beats writing computer programs. Hah!)

In any case, there’s still pressure to finish what my boss has planned for the summer, even though I may be a lowly intern who is NSF funded – and hence of little financial interest to the international corporation. Deadlines and such in ‘real life’ research are worse, from what I’ve gathered, but I will finish my work regardless (assuming that the theoretical chemistry works itself out in time). No need to protest about my situation – as long as they don’t stop bringing mini-bagels to our weekly group meetings.