jeudi 6 août 2020

Visiting the lab

1. After a discussion, colleagues from abroad tell me (this is perhaps only politeness) that they would dream to visit my laboratory. For sure, they are welcome, because this is the rule, in our realm of scientific research: one should be able to share at any time with any colleague.

2. But what are they going to see? A chemistry laboratory, with offices, on one side of two long corridors (on two levels), and laboratories on the other side. In the offices, people and computers; in the laboratories, microscopes, hoods, benches, rotary evaporators, vacuum machines, MNR spectroscope, GC-MS, LC-MS, Infrared, atomic absorption equipments, plus a lot of hardware, compounds, etc.

3. Yes, for scientists, all what we have is not new. No brand new equipment, because today, if you want to make some analysis using a synchrotron, you go to the synchrotron; if you need high field NMR equipment, you go to the NMR Centre; and so on.

4. Finally, my colleagues will not find that very exciting. But perhaps they are wrong, because when they say "lab", it means perhaps "having a scientific discussion".

5. And here, I have a duty to make my interlocutors excited; I have some many ideas, so many questions... It is probably this that they are willing to find. In French, on one of the walls of my office (not a lab, even if the office is in a previous lab, with a bench, old microscopes and a lot of strange stuff), it is written: "enthousiasm is a disease that you can get". But this translation is not good, because in French, the word "get" is does not simply mean that you get the disease, but also that you can "win" it.

6. Anyway, finally, science is very exciting!

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