MFPL retreat: From bench to keyboard

A photo of my opening slide by organiser Stephanie Bannister (@S_Bann).

Last week I was invited to speak about science communication at the MFPL retreat at Znojmo (CR). It was great to meet fans of the blog and chat with PhDs and postdocs about comics, cell/molecular biology (the MFPL does some really cool stuff), lab life and science careers.  Once again, I was struck by how rife with problems academic research is, and I hope that this little talk might spark some non-traditional, yet much-needed career paths.

Click here if you’d like to check out my 11-slide PowerPoint.

Holiday break

It’s that time of the year again, and I’m off for holidays to one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Expect the Microscope’s madness to resume after August 19.

In the meantime, you can enjoy older comics by clicking here.

See you soon,

–Nik

New comic on Labguru: The joys of academic conferences

The nice people over at Labguru have asked me to draw comics for them again, which makes me very very happy. Given that summer is fast-approaching, we decided to kick off with the Prof’s view on conferences.

Click here for my first comic.

— Nik

Swiss banking services

For being the country that practically invented banking, Switzerland is pretty bad at its banking services.

  • If you want online banking, “it couldn’t be easier! Simply print out and sign the necessary documents, send them to us and you’re ready to go!” ‘Easier’ must mean something else here.
  • You have to pay a monthly fee for an obligatory debit card.
  • You have to pay if you want a credit card.
  • You can’t use your debit card for online purchases, but have to pay for a special online-shopping card.
  • Even if you have online banking, you still have to physically go to the bank to set up direct debits.
  • Terms and conditions in English are not legally binding to the bank because they are translations of the French, and ONLY the French T&C (which you don’t understand if you need the English) are legally binding.

Actually, coming to think of it, that’s brilliant banking. At least they’re open about it. Some day, perhaps, the other banks will learn such honesty. We can only hope.

Lab listener

Good listener-NEW

This is my first comic from Lausanne, Switzerland where I’ve taken a science journalist role with the lauded EPFL, covering the awesome research of the School of Basic Sciences. It’s quite a switch for me, and I’m having a great time learning about things like superconductivity, particle physics and retarded interactions (that’s a science thing. Honest). I’ll keep you posted when my articles pop up on the website.

It’s good to be back. The Microscope missed you all.

My sci-fi thriller, LAZARUS, is now out on Smashwords (FREE until March 8) and Amazon!

Follow The Upturned Microscope on Twitter and Facebook!