I feel like I have a particularly split up personality. I have a PhD in physics and I am currently a senior postdoc. I love literature and writing. As a woman in the ‘hard’ sciences, I am interested in feminism and in how to deal with being in the minority in my field. I am an expat living in the Netherlands, and English is not my native language, so I find it very interesting to think about subtle and less subtle differences between different cultures.

Zinemin is the old Middle High German word for cinnamon.

9 Responses to About

  1. im currently in college doing a Bsc Hons in Chemistry…I love it most of the time I really do but I have a lifelong passion for reading and English that sometimes worries me I might have taken the wrong path…how did you know Science was the main thing for you?

    • suziebanshee says:

      Are you working or volunteering in a lab? Why not? That is a great way to become acquainted with the daily ins and outs of research. If you do not have to conduct your own research to complete your Honors track, volunteer to do it anyway–but find an advisor who enjoys taking on students AND is tenured. Some researchers are able to indulge in their ‘other loves’ when they’re not in the lab or field, but your career will go farther the more energy you put into it. Anyway, books were written to be read by everyone and you won’t be a well rounded person if you only read journal papers anyway, so unless you plan on writing professionally, there is nothing strange about enjoying good literature and being a scientist at the same time.

    • zinemin says:

      I don’t, actually. I sometimes wish I was in the parallel universe where I have studied literature. But I know if I had done that, I would dream of getting a second degree in physics. 🙂
      It is sometimes difficult to have very diverse interests. I realize more and more I need to accept all of them, and leave all my interests some space, otherwise I get depressed and cannot work well anymore. I think the important thing is not trying to force yourself to be a ‘one-interest-person’. These people exist, and for a while I thought I needed to be like them to be a good scientist. But this is definitively not true. The different interest can even make you a more creative scientist, I think, in some mysterious way.

  2. Hiya, you have a great blog! I have a Masters and a PhD in clinical microbiology and now work in healthcare but still do some research (well, I try to). I`ve always loved the writing part of science- putting everything together and prefer writing papers, reviews and proposals then doing the actual experiments— although when you get good results, there`s nothing akin to that super feeling (hope my PhD supervisor is not reading this!!). I am familiar with some scenarios you describe in your blog and I too love literature! Keep it going! 🙂 🙂

    • zinemin says:

      Thank you! 🙂 I should probably not admit this, but what I almost like best is doing literature studies in my field. I like reading many papers and finding tension between them and then trying to find out why this could be. But of course nothing beats making a new figure that nobody has made before.

  3. Fabio Noviello says:


    Just posting in this section so I can get the email alerts. Comment in another section:-)

  4. ❤ your blog. I'm beginning postdoc in amsterdam…expat as well : )

  5. Tired says:

    Thank you very much for your posts. Although I disagree with some of your statements, I agree very much with the overall criticism you have about the academic environment.

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