Busy as a…

I have been working as a freelance science writer since February. The gig has been full-time since June.

I’ve been very busy, and the learning curve has been steep. As a contractor and freelancer, I feel like I am playing catch-up most of the time.

I am also paying ungodly amounts of money for health insurance. My Twitter followers saw two angry tweets from me (here and here) after a particularly frustrating phone call with Blue Shield.

Despite this, I am happy. Why? For the first time in a decade, I feel like I am in the right place.

I am reveling in this glorious and unfamiliar feeling.

A few projects I’d like to plug:

1) My first guest blog post is live on BenchFly! I’ve written a post on the topic of alternative science careers titled “The 4 Steps to Finding Your Passion”. I may not be a career expert or career counselor, but what I am is a scientist who has spent a tremendous amount of time thinking about alternative careers and has managed to execute a very non-straightforward career transition. I’m happy to offer myself as a resource to anyone who is wondering about “the other side”.

2) I’ve been working with a start-up that grew out of Garry Nolan’s lab at Stanford. Cytobank makes and supports a web-based platform for managing, analyzing, and sharing flow cytometry data. The Cytobank team has been working hard on developing the software and spreading the word at conferences and meetings. They were eager to engage their community further through social media and their growing blog – I am pitching in to help with that. Learning about flow cytometry and web-based software design has been fantastic. One of the flow technologies that the founders helped developed is phosphoflow, a specialized flow cytometry technique that enables them probe phosphorylation events and signaling pathways. As those of you familiar with my graduate work will know, phosphorylation holds a special place in my heart. Reading their papers inspired this tweet from me.

3) For much of September, I was scrambling to put together the fall 2010 issue of the Stowers Report. Previous Reports are posted here on the Stowers Institute‘s website, if you want to see an example. I had written a couple articles for the spring issue, but for this issue, I serving as both project manager and writer! I wrote most of the articles, secured rights to the photos, and interfaced with the firm doing the  layout and printing. I’ve had a lot of help (from people who have been involved in the project before), and it’s been a great learning process. We’re in the final stages of layout – it’s been so exciting to see the text come alive with colors and graphics!


4 thoughts on “Busy as a…

  1. Hi Stephanie! Loved your guest post on BenchFly, and as you know, we share similar views on a lot of the things you touched on.

    Just wanted to pipe in that I think we have another (not-so) random connection through Cytobank. I couldn’t find any mention of who specifically from the Nolan lab is behind it, but I’m pretty sure one of the founding scientists graduated from the same program as I did, a year or two ahead of me. I’ll see him this weekend and can find out for sure!

    Really happy for you and your newfound found-ness!


  2. Thanks for commenting, Shirley! I love the term you use – found-ness. I think I am still figuring out exactly what niche I belong in, but at least now I have an idea of the general domain.

    It was good to see you this weekend and we should catch up soon!


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