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The Black Hole

Quarterly summary: the COVID-19 lockdown and the importance of scientists

Both David and Jonathan hope that many new and good things can come from this period of lockdown.


This quarter has been different – there is no doubt about that. Both Jonathan and I have spent lockdown with working partners (medical doctor and scientist) and two little ones each (all four kiddies under the age of five) and we were chatting the other day about how odd it is that he and I have only ever met physically in person three times. Sometimes people just “get on” and have aligned goals and ambitions, and The Black Hole has been a tremendous pleasure to share with Jonathan (and Beth Snow before!). This period of enforced online interaction has led to some serious Zoom fatigue, but we both hope that many new and good things can come from this period of lockdown as you’ll see from the range of posts below.

This quarter’s most popular posts were my recent post on career considerations during lockdown and Joanthan’s post from last summer entitled You are not a failure for wanting to leave academia which we imagine also got some extra readers during lockdown for similar reasons as the career considerations post. We hope that readers enjoy these and others. We also hope to write more on the positive things that might emerge from the introspective journey that many of us have been on over the last months (or the one we’ll go on after life gains some semblance of normality!). Our recent posts are listed below:



This quarter Dave has also written some more “science-y” stuff with a series of articles exploring recent scientific advances in blood stem cell gene therapy for a wide range of diseases over on the Signals blog:

We’re looking forward to getting back to normal (even to whatever the new normal will be) and as always, encourage our readers to contribute their own articles to this column to gain some exposure for issues near and dear to their hearts.

David Kent
Dr. David Kent is a principal investigator at the York Biomedical Research Institute at the University of York, York, UK. He trained at Western University and the University of British Columbia before spending 10 years at the University of Cambridge, UK where he ran his research group until 2019. His laboratory's research focuses on the fundamental biology of blood stem cells and how changes in their regulation lead to cancers. David has a long history of public engagement and outreach including the creation of The Black Hole in 2009.
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