Thursday, 13 March 2014


I've come to a strange hinterland between two modes of existence. I finally handed my thesis in at the UCL student admin centre a couple of weeks ago, and I'm nervously awaiting my viva in 11 days time.  I've also started my postdoctoral job, but until I have passed through the dark valley of the viva I can't actually call myself a doctor. So it's an odd in-between place, neither one thing nor the other. No longer a student, but still not finished with the PhD process.

I'm hoping that the viva might actually be fun, once I get past the initial nerves. I have two excellent examiners – Prof Juan Burrone of KCL who is well known for being a genial chap and has done some milestone work on homeostasis, and Prof Tim Bliss, whom I once named the Bob Dylan of synaptic plasticity, Fellow of the Royal Society, inventor of LTP, and an extremely nice man. Of course they are both scientists, so if there are gaping holes in my work it will still be their duty to point them out, no matter how nice they are, but I'm hoping at least they won't kill me for sport...