Last September, I became a doctor, and here I mention how things had not felt much different after I got this new fancy title. Sure, I got to add it to online forms and my email signature, but the novelty wore off pretty quickly. The big changes would only come a couple of weeks after that, when I packed my whole life into four suitcases and uprooted myself into to other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Again.
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This is the end. On the 10th of September, year 2021, I successfully defended my doctoral thesis in the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and obtained the title of Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy and Astrophysics (or, more precisely, Docteur mention astronomie et astrophysique). My thesis is now a thing of the past, and I have started to move on to a new phase of my life. So, in a sense, this is also a beginning.
Previously I have written a couple of posts about leaving social media due to increasing mental health burden and the fact that it was a pretty much useless time sink for me. That is not the case for everyone, people are different. But when I proudly told a few friends of mine that I had not yet quit watching YouTube, they had an unexpected reaction: “Nah, YouTube is still social media, you haven’t quit everything yet, bud”. I was caught off guard, since I did not really put YouTube in the same basket as Twitter or Facebook. In fact, I still do not, but I quit it anyway, and here is why.
In a post-truth world riddled by misinformation, one might be compelled to look for science-based solutions to their predicaments: losing weight, raising a child, buying a new car, determining the age of a star, voting for a state representative, among other very common dilemmas. But science is messy. Results are many times inconclusive, have large uncertainties, and have many limitations. Today, we look at why you should be careful when making individual, science-based life decisions, especially when they involve statistics.
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is going through some difficult problems with its payload computer at the moment. This issue has stalled observations since June 13th, but not all hope has been lost. While NASA strives to fix one of the most productive telescopes ever made, we on the astronomers side keep churning out observing proposals for HST. Last week, we finally got the results for the selection of observing programs in the Cycle 29, which extends from October 2021 to September 2022. I am happy to report that, this time around, I was awarded not only one, but two observing programs on HST as a Principal Investigator. Let’s talk a bit about them and other exciting upcoming science with our favorite space telescope.
Disclaimer: The contents of this blog do not represent the views of any organization or institution, and reflect only the opinions of the author.
- October 23: Reboot
- September 12: Doctor
- August 10: Thirty days without YouTube
- July 18: Statistics and life decisions
- July 4: Upcoming Hubble observing programs in Cycle 29
- March 4: Are astronomers bad at naming things?
- February 20: My next step
- February 13: The very first release of p-winds
- February 7: A day in Mars
- January 20: Do not use Twitter
- January 6: The power of placebo
- December 31: My reading list for 2021, part I
- December 23: Keeping up with grassroots movements while away from social media
- December 19: Ethics in machine learning
- December 17: Hello, good old long(ish)-form blogging!