27 and a PhD

Home » Grad school » Dear Encyclopædia Britannica Online …. WTF????

Dear Encyclopædia Britannica Online …. WTF????

Welcome to my blog!

Hello there, awesome reader. My name is Dr. 27. I'm older than that now, but I'm staying faithful to the origins of the blog.

This blog started 2 months before completing my PhD in a pretty southern university back in 2009. It was a way to practice my writing and take a break from all things thesis. My PhD is in a branch of structural biology where I studied some rather impressive stuff.

After completing the degree, I packed my life of 6 years in 3 days and moved to Canada to do a postdoc in a completely different field. Two years later, and after attending a lot of seminars, workshops and doing some much-needed soul-searching, I ended up getting out and looking for an alternative path to academia and industry.

The blog chronicles my mishaps, ideas, musings and tips on entering, staying and finishing grad school. It also talks about some (or a lot) of personal stuff. For a while, the blog became a place to talk about the frustrations of not knowing what to do after PhD. I wanted to explore alternatives to the traditional paths of research (academia, industry and goverment) whilst going back to my field of training (if at all possible). Eventually a job materialized. Follow my quest as I navigate the waters of being a staff scientist at a core facility.


December 2011
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This am I woke up to a screaming match courtesy of the minotaur* that live above my apartment. Thank you very much you inconsiderate assholes. A scientist has to get her beauty sleep in order to come up with fantabulous ideas! Also, if I hear y’all again I’m calling the cops, you beastly jerks.

Anyway, besides that, I decided to do a google search on my favourite pathogen thinking that I may get inked at some point. I’m kinda sleepy, but not enough to avoid noticing the glaring errorS (yes, errors, nor error) in one of Encyclopædia Britannica’s diagrams regarding said pathogen. There are so many things wrong with it I should accuse with … well, I don’t know what authorities, but that’s besides the point. The point is that you are spreading, old, crappy information to people who want to learn about said pathogen. I don’t know who’s in charge of this, but as a former researcher loosely associated with said pathogen’s field, I am appalled by the glaring errorS. Even a first year grad student, heck!, a junior or senior undergrad can notice those mistakes after spending an afternoon with me talking about the beauty of said pathogen (and yes, in my eyes it is a thing of beauty …. to study, not to use, ewww).

So, I’m scratching my head here EB online, I really am. I want to forward said “diagram” to my PhD mentor with the following subject line: DSF … WTFF is this piece of misinformation!?? Instead, I’ll try shooting you an email and pointing to a GREAT version of the revised, and accurate version of the diagram. In fact, it has better colours and it’s way less confusing.

That’s all. Please get your info straight. Said picture is full of fail. Same to all the websites out there that don’t bother to correct info, especially about the structural biology of the entities they’re talking about. Shame on you.

*What’s the plural of minotaur? I’m sure I’ll find the right stuff anywhere but at EB online. Minotaur? Minotauri? Minotaurs?


  1. sciencegeeka says:

    I helped my post-doc PI write an entry for a class of viruses for an encyclopedia. The word limits are ridiculous, and it’s obvious that they didn’t have a scientist edit the entry. Who looks at encyclopedias now anyhow?

    • Dr. 27 says:

      I honestly don’t know, but that one hasn’t been looked at in over 15 years. The diagram shows things that have been revised a few times. I saw it and almost puked. I’ll shoot them an email and mention that there are more accurate, current and informative versions of this out there. DFS

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