A little dry reading for the insomniac

Happened across my thesis.

So much of what we did then had to be done in the most convoluted time-honored fashion, not because the technology wasn’t available to do it more efficiently, but because of the constraints of our budget. So, rather than just buying everything I needed out of catalogs, I had to make everything from scratch, then do the actual experiments.

I’ve worked since in a better funded lab, and I was astounded at how much more we could do, in less time, and with fewer complications. I was expected to produce significantly more data than ever before, but it was almost possible thanks to having everything that I needed delivered within a day or so. Miraculous!

Alas, funding for scientific research has gotten tighter of late. At last, I am grateful for having to learn how to do processes the old-fashioned way. The folks who came up recently have been used to labs full of bells and whistles, and won’t know what to do without them.

Okay, I realize I sound like: “In my day, we had to compound all our own reagents, distill our own water, and then dig our samples out of the bottom of nitrogen freezers with oven mitts!  You kids don’t know what it was like!”  But, yeah, it kinda is like that. I actually can make do with less, start from scratch and put together a whole lab out of cast offs, if push came to shove.

Given the current economic climate, that is just what is going to have to happen to keep science moving forward.