Curry Lab

Biophysics Section
Division of Cell and Molecular Biology
Department of Life Sciences
Faculty of Natural Sciences

Other writing (and Videos)

The scientific papers published by our group can be found by clicking on the Publications tab above. On this page you will find links to my more general writing on science. This includes posts on my blog as well as contributions to other publications.

Blog

On my Reciprocal Space blog I have the chance to write more broadly and informally about science and the scientific life. To date I've written over 250 posts on a wide variety of topics.

These include articles reflecting on the legacy of Thomas Henry Huxley , the hard earned experience of working at the synchrotron, facing up to the challenge of how to be a 'great' scientist or my much-delayed discovery of Jupiter...

My post on the very colourful history of heat was selected for inclusion in Open Laboratory 2008, the anthology of the best science blog posts from that year. One reporting an illuminating example of peer review was included in anthology for 2009 and in 2010 a post on my "discovery" of Jupiter was included. Most recently, a piece on heat that was in some ways a follow-up to my post on Rumford was picked for the latest edition of the anthology, published in 2012 and available through Amazon.

If you would like to browse, please have a look at the archives (right-hand side of the page).

Other Writing

I've written a few pieces for the Guardian and now have a regular spot as part of Occam's Corner on the paper's science blog network; my contributions are listed here.

Feb 2010: Check out this issue of The Biochemist for my article reflecting on the value of blogging for scientists. You can download the pdf here, but have a look at the table of contents since it also contains several other interesting articles on science communication.

Sept-Nov 2010: Guest posts for The Guardian's new Science Blogs site. These include pieces on my star-gazing, the particular pleasures of structural biology and a combined appreciation of the works of Anish Kapoor and Carl Sagan.

Jun 2011: A blogpost about maths skills among life scientist and life-science students prompted a wide-ranging discussion on the topic. I was invited to summarise this discussion for an article in the Times Higher Education magazine which appeared this month.

Nov 2011:Two more pieces in the Times Higher Education magazine: a small (200 word) contribution to an article about professors and a column on the impact of the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Feb 2012: An article for Guru Magazine on crystallography.

Apr 2012: A opinion piece for the Guardian in the importance of open access: making the research literature free to readers.

Jun-Jul 2012: More pieces on open access in New Scientist, Research Fortnight and the Guardian.

Mar 2013: A look back on a year of open access and the challenges ahead in the March issue of UKSG Insights; and some reflections on the opportunities that have arisen from being a blogging professor.

In support of science

Feb 2009: Read my response to the question "Why is science important?" on Alom Shaha's web-site of the same name. Short answer: because it's got the X-factor.

Alom's site also has a brilliant film looking at what science means to different people. I have dabbled with video myself and posted on YouTube a short, accessible film explaining our work on the structure of a key protease from foot-and-mouth disease virus.

April 2009: Reply in Nature to an article by Harry Collins that I felt mis-represented scientists' understanding of their role in society.

Feb 2010: Read the article that Bill Hanage and I wrote in The Guardian in response to Simon Jenkins' attack on science and scientists.

Sept 2010: Read the Guardian article that I wrote with Dr Evan Harris to answer Business Secretary Vince Cable's erratic judgement of UK science. Evan and I took the matter even further by helping to organise the Science is Vital campaign to stave off cuts to the science budget in Oct 2010.

Nov 2010: My review of the Science is Vital Campaign that I helped to muster in defence of the UK science budget. More recently (Oct 2011), the campaign has been looking at the question of junior science careers.

Jan 2011: An article in Chemistry & Industry on threats to university-based science from changes in the research funding landscape.

Feb 2012: An article for the Guardian's Notes and Theories blog, co-written with Imran Khan, Director of CaSE, about the responsibilities of scientists that come with public funding.

For even shorter, but more immediate publications, follow @Stephen_Curry on Twitter.

Video and Audio

I have made several videos to help illustrate the work that we do and to explore the lives of scientists.

Sept 2008: First up is a 6 minute film explaining our work on the 3C protease from Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV).

Nov 2009: A longer video of a lecture that I gave to the Imperial College Alumni on our FMDV research.

May 2010: A not altogether serious film of human serum albumin.

Jun 2010: A short video of us working at the Diamond Light Source, collecting X-ray diffraction data.

Jun 2010: The trailer for a proposed film to help convince children that you don't need to be a genius to do science. The finished film was finally released in Sept 2011 - please see link below.

Sept 2010: A short film (on YouTube) about collecting Small-Angle X-ray Scattering data at EMBL/DESY in Hamburg.

Feb 2011: A film made by Newton TV in which I talk to scientists at the MRC LMB about the legacy of the great crystallographer, Max Perutz.

May 2011: Is this the best seminar you have ever seen? What is it exactly that makes a talk a good talk?

Jun 2011: A video (audio with slides) of a talk I gave at the London School of Economics about how science blogging is good for the public and good for scientists.

Sept 2011: My magnum opus to date (!) — a film about what it is like to be a scientist. Inspired by my experience on "I'm s scientist, get me out of here", I interviewed six different scientists to find out what makes them tick. Promoted in the Times Educational Supplement.

Dec 2011: I got the chance to talk about virus crystallography in the pilot episode of DemoJam, a video that was made for the launch of the new online science channel at the Royal Institution.

I have also dabbled with audio, experimenting on my blog and also submitting myself for interview by Dr Emma Tobin of UCL for her Thinking about Science podcast.

Lablit

Over at Lablit.com, a site devoted to finding and promoting realistic representations of science in the arts, I have contributed several articles:

  • Science at Sea, an essay on the science to be found in Patrick O'Brian's wonderful Aubrey-Maturin series of 20 historical fiction novels.

  • Run that by me again?, a creative exploration of the 'joys' of writing a lay summary of a piece of scientific research.

  • Reviews of Dr Copernicus and Kepler, two excellent novels by John Banville based on the lives of scientists who reshaped our view of the universe.

  • A review of Lab Rats, a BBC2 sitcom written by and starring Chris Addison that was gamely set in a modern research lab.

30 Mar 2013
http://www.bio.ph.ic.ac.uk/~scurry/