academic life

How I Fail

This blog post is a recording from an interview I did for Veronika Cheplygina’s blog series “How I Fail.” It’s all about the mindset and personal strategies that helped me in getting over hardship and difficulties—both in academia and in industry. Most of these strategies, I learned by trial and error and I’m happy to now share them with you.

These dark hours

The peak is so close; glowing somewhere on the horizon, yet looking like a fata morgana – step after step, and you do not feel like you are coming any closer. I felt exactly the same way while approaching the peak of Kilimanjaro in 2013. I am making this last effort in order to finally submit my PhD thesis now. And this will happen in literally a few hours. I expected it would feel orgasmic, but instead, it feels like a sad relief. Yet, I would like to capture this moment – just for the sake of memory. Maybe one day, I would get back to what I felt when I realised that all this tantalising pain is finally over.

The Virtual Brain

Neuroscience is changing very quickly in the spirit of open science. This involves not only sharing big datasets but also creating new, open-source tools that allow for testing research hypotheses derived in the clinics. One such tool is The Virtual Brain (TVB): a software developed to launch meso-scale simulations of the human brain.

The Tragedy of Commons

The year of 2009 was groundbreaking, for at least two separate reasons. Firstly, on January 3rd of 2009, the genesis block of bitcoin was mined. Secondly, on October 12th of 2009, Elinor Claire “Lin” Ostrom has became the first woman awarded with a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, “for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons”. The clue of this work is a phenomenon known in economy as the tragedy of commons. This phenomenon occurs when a group shares a resource, but at the same time, every individual acts on their own behalf, which is often against the common interest of the community. Can we spot the tragedy of commons in academia?

A note on team work

Yesterday was a nostalgic day not only for me, but for every Polish person there is. The reason is because one of our little heroes, Tomasz Mackiewicz, is dying in Karakorum, and no one can really save him from death at this point. Climbing in Himalayas can seem like a distant and exotic concept, but one thing we can definitely learn from mountaineers is a team work.