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This category contains 14 posts

Cancer and physics: back to basics

About two months ago, I started a new job, providing science information for the Cancer Research UK Create the Change Campaign, which is dedicated to raising money for the Francis Crick Institute. It’s been a real eye-opener; ironically, although I’ve worked in labs dedicated to medical research for much of my adult life, I feel … Continue reading >>

All the things I didn’t know about molecular biology

Until I started writing Blue Skies and Bench Space, I was horrendously ignorant about the history of molecular biology. Like everyone who did a PhD at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, I walked up and down staircases lined with photos of the great and the good, and shared a canteen with even more … Continue reading >>

Gerard Evan, and the puzzling case of the suicidal cancer cells

When I embarked on this project, as I’ve related in my previous blog, I had no experience of writing a sustained piece of work other than my PhD thesis, a terribly boring document that I estimate has been read a grand total of 0.2 times a year in the 27 years since I submitted it … Continue reading >>


This blog is the first of what I hope will be a series. Over the next few weeks and months, I’ll be writing about the background to Blue Skies and Bench Space: the scientists I interviewed; the bits that didn’t make it into the final edit; the stories that were fascinating but too peripheral to … Continue reading >>