It was a dark and snowy night…

On a dark and snowy Calgary evening, I finished a book that inspired me to (finally) start blogging. I’d set up this blog site a while ago, but had never had inspiration to write anything, or believe that anything I’d write was important enough that someone else would want to read it. I finally realized that sharing experiences and learning from each other is how the human species has propagated successfully over our entire planet – from pole to pole – and that while I risk having my thoughts archived by Google forever (no way to retract statements here), by not publishing a blog I run the greater risk of having those thoughts lost forever. On this blog I’ll share my experiences as a scientist, teacher, learner, and human being, and encourage responses and comments from the untamed blogosphere.

Tonight I was part of several excellent discussions (over pints, of various topics) at the University of Calgary’s Graduate Leaders Circle. The GLC is a new group that consists of Vanier and Killam scholars at the university. I realized tonight, looking around the table, that there have been very few times in my life where I’ve been surrounded by as many awesome people as I was at that particular moment. People who work on so many diverse topics from public health initiatives, to understanding human history, to unraveling fundamental structure of molecular complexes and to figuring out why plants produce certain proteins – the group was filled with diverse and expert researchers. What really strikes me about the GLC, however, is the human side of these scientists. Everyone has a story to tell, and everyone breaks the classic stereotype of the solitary scientist in the laboratory. These people are game changers, and have both the raw intellectual curiosity and people skills to lead into the future, wherever that may be. It’s been a pleasure to get to know each one of them.