Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas wishlist from a scientific mum

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Everyone, all readers of the blog and especially to all women in science (but also for men of course :-))! May the next year bring you happiness and blessing in your life.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chemical Christmas presents

I am deliberately breaking the chronological/logical order (with my Christmas wishlist coming only with the next post), because I wanted to share this comic strip first... Yes, I think that sometimes (or often? or in general?) it is hard to be a scientist's child. Christmas may be one of those moments... But let's try to get through it with some self-irony... And am I the only woman who feels that men have in general a lot of trouble with buying presents? (But in fact, for me it is enough to have his support, I do not need anything else and there is nothing else worth being given. Because nothing else matters...)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas (New Year's Eve) party at the lab - safety signs...

I hesitated a lot about posting this comics now or just directly before Christmas... But finally I decided to post it now, so that people can already use it at Xmas parties in the lab if they like or send it to their colleagues  (or to other 'lab rats' :-)) to wish them merry Christmas... As I noticed my cartoons need some time to get to their audience anyway... That is it for now shortly. I am not complaining, my life is quite fine, I am happy in my family life and my carreer finally did not stop during the maternity leave. (Thanks first of all to my huge efforts, to the help and understanding of my hubby and family, the support of a few colleagues - I may even call them friends - and also to this blog that is a kind of psychotherapy for me.)
   This blog has been inspired 1 year ago by the blog of Viktór S. Poór entitled 'Stripped Science' (http://blogs.nature.com/strippedscience/2011/11/30/pillars-of-hercules-or-cartoon). Viktor celebrated recently his 30th birthday along with the 4th birthday of his blog! Happy birthday to both of you!
    And thanks a lot for the 5000th pageview on my blog!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Baby names for physicists

Yes, with a little delay here comes the next comic strip from the 'neverending' series... Hope you'll enjoy.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Discussing kitchen specialties of scientists (scientific mums)

Well, first Advent Sunday is already over, the second is nearing, preparations for Christmas have started... Often women exchange recipes at this time for the holidays. So, here is one joke about this...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The parable of the Sower for scientists - philosophy in the dark...

Close to thanksgiving we may think a little bit about the Sower of seeds... Just like the maize seeds waiting for experiments (the judgement day)...

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Ultimate and Endless Game for Writing Scientific Papers - comic strip

I've been working on this comic strip since a month or two, but now I decided to finalize and post it. Not too much comments needed, of course this is just a comic strip about the normal process of writing scientific papers and how it is done. Many things are normal in this process, but seen from the freshman's point of view this is sometimes how it looks like (it ain't funny). There could have been endless "repetitions", "cycles", "turn back to this point and start again" things in it, but finally I said that for the moment this is enough, I do not want to make it more complicated, this is not the aim of it. (Answering 'Tamil Baby Names's' comment: unfortunately I have no idea how to subscribe for email notifications but maybe you should try to become a follower of this blog...) Please share, comment and enjoy while being in a 10-year-long project of manuscript preparation!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Baby names for biochemists (proteomists?)

Here comes the next comic strip of the series, about proteomic baby names, I hope you'll enjoy... And of course the list is again endless and just a suggestion. (And of course all nucleobases are suitable in scientifically correct combinations for twin babies.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween in the lab...

I've spent Halloween working hard, this is why I am quite late with the new comic strip inspired by Halloween in the lab as celebrated by the ideal postdocs, Shiva Droid I, II and III (denoted as D1, D2 and D3 in the comic strip)... And yes, everyone who has been on a serious postdoc (or everyone who is serious about science) knows this feeling... Spending nights and days in the lab, without too much contact with friends and family from 'outside', and even without any need to go out, because the lab is your life, the lab is everything, and the lab is everything that you've got, and in fact you have everything in the lab that you need to make you happy... And yes, if you agree with all this, then congratulations, your scientific transformation into a Shiva droid or a Zombie was successful.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

4000th pageview - very very soon...

Thanks to all readers, and please comment if you have some ideas, some corrections or just some words of encouragement :-). And if you like then share it with others fighting with science (and many other things including for instance family) through their lives.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Safety signs and their interpretations by a postdoc (Shiva Droid X)

No need to comment too much. Those having gone through doctoral or postdoc years must exactly know what it means working late in the lab, staying awake with coffee (chocolate) until dawn, sleeping and living in the lab (so maybe not too much possibility for proper personal hygiene), running out of food during night and trying desperately to look for any kind of edible items in the lab or the department...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The classical joke with DNA spaghettis

Yes, this is a joke, I only put it in the lab context and in my comic strip. But I do have friends who really make fun out of eating and celebrating such meals among scientists.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Baby names for chemists

Being quite busy with all kind of different activities I just continue with my beloved series of baby names. This time it is for chemists that I hand over a list of suitable (or not so suitable) names. Some of them are quite OK, and of course the list is endless and could be continued...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The scientific Cinderella... - daily transformations of women in science

Holidays are far behind us now (we are just enjoying the last indian summer days), conference season is also over, so here comes the daily routine of work (and housework). This cartoon does not need too much explanation, it only demonstrates the different 'personnalities' and fashion trends represented by scientists during a day or at different special events. Sometimes I really feel that no colleague will ever recognize me in the street or on the playground when I'm in my casual outfit suitable for playing with kids, etc. On the other hand, we can really feel like Cinderella when we go alone to conferences and/or study trips, finally as a scientist and a woman and not as a mother or housewife... But then, when we return home to our beloved family (and arrive at midnight after 10 days off on a study trip as I did for the last time, that gave my inspiration for Cinderella), we got transformed into the devoted mother and housewife we used to be before... So, other women (and maybe men) in science must also know the feeling how it is to work abroad, far away from the family, at a conference or during a study trip, and how we can become real-real scientists at these relatively lonely moments, when we do not have to worry about napkins, panties, food, homeworks, cleaning duties, etc. And then, your trip is over, you come home and your daily routine and 'struggle' with science and family (and finding the equilibrium) starts again.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Labcoats by the end of the week (for men in the lab)

My comic strip about the different labcoat fashion models (posted in January) is quite popular. So I decided to continue in this direction... I do not want to put too much details on one cartoon (otherwise it is getting to small and not well readable), so first I present the labcoats of male scientists in the lab by the end of the week.

And thank for all your comments, unfortunately I do not know how to reply personally, so I thank you for them this way. Please comment, share and post (twitter, facebook, others) if you like.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Target journals of different scientists

I cannot wait posting this strip (but probably I will make some language editing in the upcoming few days; by the way I would be grateful to any comments)... I think that the lists below are endless (as those for other comic strips) and could be of course continued, but as usual I had to make it short and with the ideas I had at once. Again I am trying to characterize the archetypical personnalities of my blog: the boss; the postdoc-PhD student (the faceless slave, the Droid); the boss-flattering girl; the cold, sour and lonely female scientist; and the desperate female scientist with family.

Friday, September 9, 2011

3000th pageview!!! - coming soon!

WOW!!! Thanks for the visits! And please make comments, and if you like then share the blog with friends!
Thanks Thrutch for the comment, and the great ideas. Of course, the list with scientific baby names is probably endless...

Baby names for physiologists and neuroscientists

I have absolutely no personal feedback of my strange linguistic (comic ?) strips about 'scientific' baby names. However, as judged from the statistics of my blog, the strip about 'baby names for geologists' is quite popular. So I will go on with this series (until someone stops me :-)... I had enough of people giving stupid names to their kids, I made my own list of scientific terms for given names of boys and girls in several fields of science. This is the day for neuroscientists and physiologists.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Comic strip about scientific conferences...

Well, we are in full scientific conference season, so there comes a comic strip about where, how and who can go for conferences... I hope it does not need any explanation.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lonely hearts' ads in scientific journals - part three (last episode?)

No comments this time on the cartoon. For this summer, this is the last scientific lonely hearts' ad. But if you have any ideas or wishes or criticism about cartoons, please comment or contact me. And greetings to the 2000th page visit (last week) and to all of my readers... At the moment I gave up science and try being just a mum on holidays with kids, so I am not too much inspired by scientific problems.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mash-up of the new Old Spice commercial

Scientists also go sometimes for holidays. So they relax, switch on the TV and forget about science. Maybe they even travel to nice countries like France... And now and then they have a look at their favourite blog (Stripped Science by Viktor S. Poór - http://blogs.nature.com/strippedscience/2011/07/27/microbiology-and-the-old-spice-guy-cartoon) and then they look at the TV and watch the stupid ad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owGykVbfgUE) again while eating tons of extremely smelly cheese in France. And there is the result of all this... It is not scientific not even very nice, but just as it came to my mind... And Reblochon is really the best cheese ever, but smells like hell...

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Ultimate Game for Women in Science - The Baby Project...

Everyone's on holidays (at least on the northern hemisphere)... We experience all kind of games, so - inspired by 'The PhD Game' (http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/~kw10004/phdgam/) - I prepared this one. I hope it'll make everyone think a little bit about the life of women in science. Please read carefully and think it over... However and after all, this game is the best game I have ever played in my life, the only disadvantage is, that this game has some negative impacts on my career (and of course this part is outlined in this game). But I think that no Nobel prize or no promotion could ever bring such happiness to my life as Baby Boo, and that this is the Ultimate Experience that women should not miss if possible (even if they choose a scientific career). To start the game I advice you to throw away the insanity of believing that science is more important than love.
I deliberately did not use too much interrelations/logical links between the different independent "events" and decided to use mostly the option of missing turns to demonstrate how the presence of a baby influences your work. In fact, having a baby is only making your career develop slower, but is not a problem itself in other ways. If you are very determined (enthusiastic and workaholic) you will be able to make it (and probably you will not fail as a mum either). However, undeniably you will progress slower than your male colleagues. This is all that I wanted to show and to demonstrate (with the addition of some negative or positive points that I had also experienced). But if you have started the game, you have to be patient and determined to go through it. Try to relax, to accept this situation with all its advantages and disadvantages, laugh about it and enjoy being the mum of a small baby... Probably your child is the greatest achievement of your life. :-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Great announcement on lab meetings... (and the consequences)... part 3

I just want to finish this series about great announcements... I know it is not really funny, nor really scientific, but it illustrates well the relationships of the different personalities/archetypical women in science. I promise to be back next week with something really special and completely different!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Great announcement on lab meetings... (and the consequences)... part 2

So let's come back to our archetypical women in science. Let's see what happens when Jane (Desperate-Housewife) announces that she is expecting a child, and what happens next... Please compare with things that happened when Amanda (Beauty) announced the same thing (but well, a minor difference, that her baby was from the boss)... And sorry, this is not a funny story, but REALITY :-(... or rather fears that become reality...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lonely hearts' ads in scientific journals - part two

As far as I can judge from the statistical data of my blog, the readers are most interested in Lonely hearts' ads, cheerleading scientists and safety instructions for laboratories... So, I decided to continue my series with lonely hearts' ads... Greetings to all of my friends/colleagues who are working hard with proteomics... Especially to women who can do science with kids. (Actually I am close to give it up...)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Baby names for geologists

So... After the great announcement of expecting a baby the couple has to choose christian (given) names for the offspring... I think women like to collect names for boys and girls and to give the list to the man to decide - at least this is how we've proceeded with Baby Boo... I am not sure how much you will like this cartoon, in fact it's been rather a kind of linguistic game and mockery for me... Many parents think that the best thing to do with their child to make him unique is to give him an extraordinary given name referring to special events, the place of conception, the favourite actor or rock band or anything... So I put these phenomena into the scientific context and was thinking about different scientific terms from different areas (geology, informatics, physics, chemistry, informatics, biology...) as possible girl and boy names... If the text is not easy to read please make a comment and I will change the font type. And of course I'll be back with similar comic strips soon...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Great announcement on lab meetings... (and the consequences)...

This time I'll come back to the original reason and aim of this blog and I'll try to illustrate how the three archetypal women in science make their great announcement (about expecting...) and especially how their environment reacts to this... Let's start with Amanda... Sorry, the figure is too small, so please click on it to enlarge it and to see the text and the details...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lonely hearts' ads in scientific journals...

Felirat hozzáadása
The 'Stripped Science' blog (http://blogs.nature.com/strippedscience/), i.e. Viktor S. Poór has again inspired me. Strongly influenced by his chemical love letter and by my earlier ideas, I decided that this is high time to make my first scientific lonely hearts' ad and I decided to post it right now...
I have also prepared two other lonely hearts' ads, so please follow my blog in order not to miss them...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Celebration of the 1000th visitor (more exactly the 1000th pageview)

I am very glad to announce that probably today I will celebrate the 1000th pageview of the blog! This is really great, especially because I made almost no advertisement about it (in my home country and in my lab practically noone knows about it, otherwise everyone would find out who I am, and I could not be honest in my criticisms and sarcasms)... So thanks a lot for visiting it and please make comments to improve it or just to give some feedback...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Safety signs for the different labs and scientists

Let's come back to our little archetypical world... Here are the safety instructions to everyone in the lab...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Breakfast at Percy William Bridgman's house

After some comic strips about chemistry and biology, it was high time to come back to physics... This comic strip illustrates from a practical (housewife's) point of view the fantastic experiment of Bridgman which (partially) resulted in his Nobel prize in physics in 1946 (and in a lot of amazing high pressure experiments about protein denaturation and folding). Theoretical vs. applied science is also illustrated here, from a typically feminine point of view.
(In 1914 P. W. Bridgman coagulated egg albumen under high pressure - above 500 MPa. The characteristic denaturation/coagulation of the egg is similar to that observed under heat treatment, however, in contrast with heat denaturation the pressure-induced denaturation is partially reversible. This cartoon is dedicated to this phenomenon.) 

Monday, June 13, 2011

(Cheer)leading scientists - special comic strip dedicated to the International Year of Chemistry :-)

It is coffee break again, so it is time for women in science to discuss interesting (philosophical) questions ... The idea itself (cheerleading molecules) is inspired by one of the fantastic comic strips of Viktor S. Poór (http://blogs.nature.com/strippedscience/), it is only slightly modified and put in the 'Stripped Women in Science' frame. I had a lots of visitors for my other comic strip dedicated to the International Year of Chemistry, so this time I decided to continue a little bit in this direction. (But I promise to prepare something completely different for next week...)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Horror Mum...

This cartoon is a kind of ars poetica - I mean it is really related to my own life, but is rather a "science" fiction in this form; it only explains the reason why I decided finally not to be involved in brain science and neuroanatomy... I had then a friend who started every one of his working days with a small guillotine and a rat... For a guy singing (if we can call it singing) in a death metal band, this was OK, but I thought that for a woman (or more exactly for me) this was simply too much. I decided that I could not live this way, I could not explain my kids what I was doing or why I was doing it... So here is the cartoon about these mixed feelings...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Grant evaluation...

Sorry, I am busy with some projects, so I had not too much time to go on with different stories... I just finish the story about the chocolate egg-laying rabbits and the grant applications... Finally the research group gets back the evaluation of the second applied science project about producing white chocolate egg-laying rabbits...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Chemistry from TV ads - special comic strip dedicated to the International Year of Chemistry :-)

In general (women) scientists have no time for TV... However, during maternity leave they may switch on the black (grey) box more often... This is how they can get inspired for comic strips while listening to such intelligent washing powder ads... (In this particular one they claim that their washing powder is much better than all the other powders on the market, because it contains intelligent molecules that can fight and remove all kind of stains...)

Saturday, May 14, 2011


From time to time one has to be a little bit self-ironic... Just to show that we are not completely serious about everything and about our sufferings in the male scientific world... But - just like the self-irony of Cyrano de Bergerac - this kind of self-deprication is only allowed for us, for women in science, but never for male scientists...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The scientific Mother's day

Yes, this is life, real life... when the mother is a biologist... Next years we'll see what happens if she is a chemist, a physicist, a historian, linguist, psychologist or any kind of scientist... Not only the mother, but the family also has to live in an inspiring scientific environment...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter bunny comic strip 2.

After such a successful applied grant project, bosses have a tendency to consider themselves as real experts in such topics. And if they had so much money once, they will for sure give it another try... Happy Easter to everyone, even to the Easter bunnies!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter bunny comic strip 1.

Easter is getting close. So I decided to include two comic strips (the next will be posted next week) about great ideas related to grant proposals of applied science... Of course this is just a joke related to Easter, but in fact this is not so far away from reality. Often great scientists doing basic research, but desperately hunting for money and thus starting to make applied science have similar proposals and ideas...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Importance of first words

Mothers often think that they should boast of everything their babies do... This is the same for women in science, but the story is a little bit more complex in our little laboratory...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Flattering the boss

Recently I participated in the description of a scientifically completely novel species... The cartoon is partially related to it, but fortunately we found a better way to name it... However, this way I can go on to introduce you my comic strip heroes and make you know them better...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Good old memories

My experience has shown me that women without child(ren), and men in general cannot even understand what it is to spend 6 months or more at home, isolated from the rest of the world (especially from science), and spending 24/24 h alone with an adorable but intellectually not very challenging newborn. This change is really drastic if you have been workaholic before maternity leave... This cartoon is just describing the big nostalgia to lab work after 6 months at home... I am 100% sure that other mothers in science have felt the same...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The great grant application wishlist...

Similarly to Christmas preparations, laboratories or research groups always prepare their own wishlists before each grant submission... This time I would like to share a quick, extremely critical and ironic (as usual) overview of the personal wishlists of the participans - just before all these wishes would be merged in a fantastic project with an excellent budget justification for each item. (Maybe one day I will also prepare a budget justification comic strip for these items.) This rather descriptive comic strip enables further stereotypical characterization of the personalities of my comic strips...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Back to the lab

It's almost time for me to come back to the lab :-)... I simply imagined how I could work in the lab at this moment. This comic strip is not so funny, but rather only cute... (Baby Boo is now in the stage when he is repeating the first syllable of almost everything you say...)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bragging among women (and men...)

Again no need for explanation... The first version of this comic strip was meant with only the first two pictures (arranged in a different way into 3 pictures)... But in fact, seeing and feeling the material side of having a baby since several months I decided that I also have to add something about it...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Women in Science - a historical outlook...

I think this cartoon does not need any explanation... And I am sorry to say that it is not only a joke... even these days...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chemical masquerade ball 2011

We may all remember school carnivals or masquerade balls of our own with desperate mothers trying to convince us that this or that costume or mask will be fantastic... Now it is time for us to be creative and to put our kids in scientific costumes... (Poor baby Boo with his chemical masquerade balls...)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quantum physics for beginners...

Becoming a mother makes you quickly understand and simplify the most complicated scientific principles...