Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Time travelling made simple

I had grand plans over the summer to blog daily from an excellent conference I was speaking at in Paris this August, entitled "The Geochemistry of the Earth's Surface", a working group of the IAGC (International Association of Geochemistry). For one reason or another my plans didn't come to fruition (certainly not because of the time taken visiting the Rodin Museum, Musee d'Orsay and Musee d'Orangerie) but it was an excellent conference, hosted by Jerome Gaillardet at the Institut de Physique du Globe, where Marie Curie had her lab. The papers from the conference have been published and are available on line for free.
The Arab institute in Paris is near the Institut de Physique du Globe and one of my favourite buildings in Paris. The front of the institute is designed to reflect Islamic art and comprises a series of windows each containing a series of light sensitive shutters which open and close through the day. Magical.

Tomorrow I'm off to another conference I've been asked to speak at - this time at the Diamond light source down near Didcot. It is their annual user meeting and I'll be talking about our use of FTIR (fourier transform infrared spectroscopy) to study earthworm calcite balls. If I'm really good I'll take some photos and write about it. the big news in the area is of course that Didcot A has now been demolished, however Didcot B remains so there are still some of the iconic cooling towers on view.

However, today's main topic is to congratulate Sam Parry, ex Reading PhD student, now at Syngenta, who has had the first paper published from his PhD. The paper looks at calculating how fast minerals dissolve in soils.

As I often write, I still get a thrill when I see a paper with my name on it in the literature. One of the nice things about this one is that although it is published now it has a publication date of 2015! This often happens as scientific publications put out issues early. In reality they do this as it helps the statistics by which journals are judged (perhaps a subject for another blog) but what it means is that I'm already having work published in 2015 which I always think is kind of neat.

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