Postcard From the Mountains: What Hiking Taught Me About Science

Academic life is not easy. “The closer to the sky, the closer to hell.” Well, so far, I manage somehow but it took me a long time to grow this skin. Hiking helped me get tougher and persevere. So, I created a list of 21 things that mountaineering has taught me about science so far. Some are obvious and cliché, but I hope some of them will be useful to you.

Working On My Physical Condition

On Those Who Gave Up On Their Dreams / Working On My Physical Condition

I am pleased to say that I am slowly breaking down the physical barriers in which I was stuck until recently. Before I had lost my job and my dream guy, I was a couch potato who worked out maybe an hour a week —- in a good week! Then I decided to become an athlete. I did work out every single day and a few months later, I stood at the top of Kilimanjaro. I also did a mountaineering course, and then consistently went for an jog almost every day. I also went for the famous 4-Daagse march, and to my own surprise, I was able to complete it with ease. And last weekend, three weeks after the event, I did a 100-km Death March known as Dodentocht, in Bornem, Belgium.

passage of time natalia bielczyk

Time Flies… On The Passage of Time

The sense of time… When you’re at a party and have a good time, time flies much faster. Maybe that’s my problem — I do what I enjoy in life, I have nice people around, I enjoy good weather, I’m in good shape, I don’t have any particular problems. And every time I look at my watch, I realize that a month or two has passed again, and I don’t even know when.

How To Produce a Highly Ranked Publication

How To Produce a Highly Ranked Publication

I recently had the opportunity to see what it looks like to build a serious scientific article from scratch. I usually encounter articles from the other side: I first get the article in my hand and try to figure out what the author’s intentions were. I read through the thousands of details of the experiment or methods that were in use to find the logic behind the paper and try to figure out the author’s thought process. And eventually, the whole creative process can generally be summed up in one or two sentences, not more. This time around, however, I attend lab meetings, where I witness brainstorming sessions on how to make an influential paper from scratch. This is so interesting!