Something very exciting happened the other day. Not only did I survive my PhD viva, but it actually went rather well★. I’d go so far as to say that it was even quite enjoyable, having a detailed technical discussion about certain things which I’ve researched. So now I have an interesting task ahead. I need to find my own style as a researcher.
By this, I don’t mean just in the work I do but also in the way which I write it all up. Because wherever you are, you can always pick up that certain authors have a distinctive style of writing. This is as evident with scientific journal papers as it is with novelists or bloggers. There are authors who you know will be concise and to the point, while there are others who you can expect to give you an entertaining read while perhaps making you dig a little for the interesting things which they’re trying to present.
As a PhD student, you’re very much constrained as a scientist. This makes perfect sense of course. After all, you’re the sorcerer’s apprentice who would be wise to follow the guidance of those who clearly have more experience, lest you suffer the consequences. But I realise that I now need to stop thinking like a student. This is my research career now and I should start calling more of the shots.
The first step in doing this is likely to be writing papers which are enjoyable to read, and presenting interesting science to the community at large. How to do this? Well… I guess that’s something which I now need to learn how to do. And it will doubtless be fuelled by a great many cups of tea.
★ I’d also like to thank everyone who bought me celebratory drinks. A place with a 2-for-1 offer on cocktails was most certainly a good idea, despite the fact that my recollection of Tuesday evening is most definitely impaired!