Blog 2020_1: Scientific resolutions for 2020

A happy new year all. Yes I know, it’s already mid-January and we are nearly all done with our resolutions. But what better way for me to start back to the open notebooking/blogging than to kick off with a top 10 list of my resolutions/hopes for 2020 (some science/some aspirational). Yes, I am back blogging and will be doing it on a regular basis for the rest of the year. Since finishing the last series of posts, the past months of 2019 were insanely busy with grants, meetings, admin duties, teaching, travel and life, so thankfully over Christmas and the new year I got to return to the motherland. Once in Ireland, I got to relax, recharge and reflect and did my best thinking and pontificating. So I am back, and ready to go.

For this year, you can expect 40 blogs over the next 12 months, I know, you are like WHAT. 40 blogs. Are you crazy Tom. You’re so boring, please stop. Well yes I am dull (I enjoy naps and 9h of sleep over a nightclub), but no I will not stop, I have things to say, and by Jove I will say it. Unlike the summer blogs, this will be a little different. These will be more frequent but shorter in length and be more a diary of my comings and going, where I am, what I am doing, what work is coming out of the group, and so forth.

All coinciding with a big year for Tom, as I turn a majestic 40 years old, which is also why 40 blogs, one for each year. So, lets not take any longer, with a new year, I have set a list of ten things I am hoping for/planning for over the next 12 months I will use the blog to track my progress on these items, some are a teeny tiny little bit bigger than others, but lets see how we get on, aim big as they say:

  1. Publish a minimum of ten scientific manuscripts. The past two years have been slow getting papers out (Large part my fault in not writing faster), so this year I have resolved to be an author on at least ten papers, last year I had four, so I want to double if not treble this number to show you all the cool science we are doing. As each new one comes out, you will be the first to know about it as we track my progress.
  2. Witness an event 30 years in the making. If you know me, you know what this is, no more to be said. If this doesn’t happen, I would avoid me for like a month.
  3. Turn 40 gracefully. We shall see how this goes. If I end up having an existential crisis in May we shall know it took a U turn.
  4. Obtain a research grant as a lead scientist. We all need funds to do the science we are doing, so aim is to be the lead scientist on at least one grant. Lets see how I do. Fingers crossed.
  5. Build three dinosaurs. I will be showing you my progress over the coming months. Which one shall I start with? (A kind Xmas gift from the lab, hours of endless fun). 
  6. Launch a scientific company. I have a lab, but never a company. I have some ideas, so lets see if I can bring them to fruition and launch a company. If I do, you will all be the first to know.
  7. Write 40 blogs (explained above)
  8. Send cells into space. To truly start exploring the universe, our cells need to go into space.
  9. Identify new ways to make the work of my group more open and accessible. I have some ideas, so lets see how things go in 2020.
  10. Expand my butcher business of Tom Durcan meats. Some of the best deli meat you will ever taste.

As I succeed or fail with any of these items, then I will let you know. The next blog will be coming next week from rainy (snowy) Vancouver where I am travelling for the upcoming Keystone Organoid meeting. Am pumped for it, very excited to hear the latest work on organoids.

Until next week, here is some new work from the group obtained in a study led by Dr. Stefano Stefani, and our first manuscript of the year, so one down, nine more to go. Hope you enjoy and I will be back next week.

Disclaimer: These are not my meats, I wish they were. It is my famous Irish namesake Tom Durcan. He is a butcher from Cork whose deli meats are simply sensational. You should all visit Ireland to sample his produce, and then stay for the guinness and whiskey, just saying.

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