I just read that the actors of the TV show The Big Bang Theory are getting a pay-rise. They will earn around 1 million euros per episode. This is over 20 years of my current salary as researcher. The actors have definitively great talent and the show is a great funny but at the end they are playing roles based on the life of researchers like me. Could they create a foundation to help science?
Paradoxically my registration to social networks have been motivated by my professional life. I registered in Facebook because I was organizing a public talk. A recent grant application form asks about a website. I decided to buy the domain name www.astrowing.eu. I was first surprised that the domain has not been used before. Also I am glad I can use the eu instead of a country since I do feel I live in Europe. I will keep this blog site alive since it has hosted my first blogs for free.
A major aspect of my work as astrophysicists and leisure involves reading and writing. Reading and writing reports, scientific articles, press releases, emails, blogs. Like many I was struggling in putting in words my thoughts, especially in English, which is not my native language. But as the american philosopher Ayn Rand said: “Writing is no more difficult a skill than any others, such as engineering. Like every human activity, it requires practice and knowledge. But there is nothing mystical about it. Any person who can speak English grammatically can learn to write nonfiction.”. Many of my initial blockages have been lifted after reading her excellent book The Art of Nonfiction. The book is probably the best aid I found to help me improve my writing skills. Ayn Rand did not only talk about the technical aspects of nonfiction writing, she also analyzed the psychological struggle faced by aspiring writers. Nonfictions are about conveying ideas and thus the main motto of her book “clarity, clarity, clarity” summarizes perfectly her approach to nonfiction writing.