View from the fence

Social, environmental and economic issues surrounding GM foods, and the latest news

Book Club: Do you portray life as a scientist accurately?

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This is one of the book club questions for my novel A Column on Smoke. Please add your thoughts in the comment section below – I will be very interested to read them.

Yes, I think so. I wanted it to be as accurate as possible, with lots of different characters who you encounter in the lab. I wanted to portray the pressures which scientists experience, particularly the pressure to publish, and explore how this can affect their lives and their judgements.

The blurring of personal and professional life I think is also very common for scientists. I suspect many people will also identify with the power hierarchies as students, research scientists, professors and technicians all interact.

I would be very interested to hear which bits people felt did or didn’t match well with their experiences in the lab. What characterises life in the lab for you?

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Author: Rebecca Nesbit

I am author of a popular science book 'Is that Fish in your Tomato?' exploring the fact and fiction of GM crops. In my work and leisure so far, I have trained bees to detect explosives, used a radar to study butterflies for my PhD, written a novel, taken the train from London to China, organised Biology Week, sold science jewellery on Etsy, and traveled to four continents with Nobel Laureates. Best off all, I've made lots of friends whose support I very much appreciate. Thank you! Please visit my website: http://rebeccanesbit.com/

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