On the move

These non-ph-news posts are supposed to be about personal updates, and, boy, was January 2023 full of personal updates.

I moved from Greece to Malaysia. Started work as a lecturer in astrophysics. Wrote for The Guardian. Even gave a talk inside an observatory and got featured in a yoga newsletter. But lest you think everything was rosy, I’m only mentioning in brief the extreme angst in the days before moving.

More specifically now, yes, I joined academia again, having a distinct feeling that this time it will go better. I’m now a senior lecturer at Universiti Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. The really surprising part was changing field (going from elementary particle physics to astrophysics) which is unreasonably hard to do in research, although one can’t say it’s surprising if one has been pushing in a direction for years. (If you want to get glimpses of Kuala Lumpur, instagram here. But I’m making no promises.)

Wearing the weird hat of science journalism, I wrote a story for The Guardian (which was even mentioned in two of my most favourite blogs). I’d be quite happy about it, also given it’s my first piece of investigative journalism, was it not for the fact that everything about that story is sad: Russia attacked Ukraine; the western bloc and Russia started playing chess; the western bloc managed for the first time ever to drag international science into it; some people at CERN experiments refuse to publish scientific papers together with russians; no compromise can be found; CERN experiments responded by not publishing new scientific papers at all since last March. And if that sounded a little crazy it’s because it is.

On more pleasant topics, before I moved I had the joy of giving a talk about dark matter in front of the greek society of amateur astronomers. The energy and the people were great and we were literally inside an astronomical observatory, the Pendeli observatory overlooking Athens, on a moonless January night.

Last and very far from least piece of news: Lynn is a kundalini yoga teacher and enneagram coach with a great weekly newsletter. The enneagram and kundalini are two major interests of mine and I’ve been reading her newsletter for years. Each issue includes a cool short interview, and it was very pleasant to see myself appear in there. If you click here you might learn a few trivia about yours truly.

Okay, going back to ph-news, you can find January’s news here. They involve particles, exoplanets and ChatGPT. Talk to y’all next month.

Tropical afternoon moments at new office.

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