Do More Science

There is a tingling feeling associated with realizing, that a project I’ve been thinking and talking about for so long, is actually going forward. Even though, this feeling somehow resembles hanging onto a door of a speeding car, trying not to fall off.

Working in a number of physics laboratories (first during my doctorate, then as a post-doctoral researcher), I cannot even recall, how many times I looked at something and felt that “this could be improved.” I don’t know how many times I’ve asked colleagues and fellow professors, what else they needed to get science research done.

Getting science work done quickly and deeply is the way to success for both those who are doing the job and those who are following a calling to explore the Universe. And there are always more things getting in the way.

Large angle view of my previous pjysics lab, taken with GoPro Hero3 Black
Physics lab at work

After asking a lot of questions to the right people, I thought: often there’s not enough money in the labs to buy the equipment they need, instead they have to build it. When they are building it, it’s mostly student work, which comes with its own bugs due to being done by students, which comes with its own bugs due to their lack of experience. The students’ lack of experience is coupled with the lack of communication between groups, which holds back engineering and scientific progress.

And I want to change all this.

This is the beginning of the Moonpunch project, which will enable more people do more science. My head is already full of ideas:

  • projects for open source hardware and software
  • DIY laboratory instruments, dedicated maker community
  • in-house R&D
  • collaboration with successful laboratories and manufacturing companies

…and so on. Having a vision is great, but the biggest issue is focus. I cannot do all that at the same time, since I have to focus to build things up.

While I’m working on this, I feel I need a bit more feedback to make sure that what I’m doing is actually useful. If you are an experimental scientist, please take a few minutes to complete the survey after this post, it would help a lot!

And in the meantime, I’m trying not to fall off this speeding ride…