Academic life

Learning to say no: Seven questions to ask before accepting an invitation

I just got back from a short meeting in the States. Even though I was only out of the office a few days, I am now even further behind with backed-up peer review, finishing manuscript drafts, collaborations. My long-suffering family now have to cope with me being tired and irritable while I catch up on […]

Goodbye and thank you to Birmingham!

Goodbye and thank you to Birmingham!

Well, today is my last working day at the University of Birmingham, before I set off after Easter for a new position at the University of Warwick as Professor of Microbial Genomics and Head of a new Division of Microbiology and Infection in Warwick Medical School. I have been at the University of Birmingham since […]

All the cool kids are on arXiv and Haldane’s Sieve .. why you should be too

Something very exciting has happened in recent weeks on arXiv, the preprint server which many biologists believe is the reserve of angry physicists, beardy mathematicians and unwashed computer scientists  (joke!!!). Not any longer. I first felt a disturbance in the force in September when a few high-profile human genomicists started making pledges to send all […]

Minimum requirements for a PhD thesis

I am getting tired of having to examine sub-standard PhD theses and then having to write the same old comments in the report on the thesis, so I have decided to set down the minimum requirements for a PhD thesis. Anyone who is contemplating asking me to examine a thesis should read these and comply […]