In what is becoming an annual self-reflection (and what I think can be part of effective management!), a look back at the goals I set in 2019, and what I hope 2020 has in store. You can read previous versions here: 2018, 2019.


2019 goals

Get that languishing project off that was missed in 2018 off my desk. I mean honestly, it’s been forever. With a paper submitted in December, this is now my “oldest” active project. Sorry, postdoc supervisors & collaborators… it’s coming, I promise!

Yes! We’ve made progress! I now have a firm deadline of March 1st. Hooray! Though the 2018 languishing project also cam back from review (rejected), and has been submitted somewhere else, so it still looms like a metaphorical albatross.


Same goes for that grant application. But at least there was some logistical progress (and the granting agency ditched deadlines!).

Ooofffffff. Nope. But at least we have the specimens at the Museum now. This really needs to happen in the year ahead.


Build a local group of friends – it always (n = 4) takes me about 2 years to build a group of outside-work friends. A mix of not having kids, not living where I work, and moderate introversion. So far so good for 2019.

Getting there? It’s tough working and living in two different communities…


Provide better mentorship – I think “mentor” is a title best applied by others to someone who provides mentorship. But ultimately who mentors the mentors? Thoughts on this one gratefully received!

Yep. Still struggling with this one.


Make STEM (or at least my little corner of it) a better place for queer folk. Part of that is keeping up the same battles, but part of it is also looking to gear up for what’s next on the horizon. There’s some exciting stuff already planned for 2019, but I know I already operate in a very queer-friendly online bubble. Thoughts? Let me know what I might be able to help with.

Again, a tough one what with literal existential dread. Some days, in everything from emails to journal reviews to in-person interactions, it’s a real struggle, feeling Sisyphean at times.


2020 goals

Get. That. Grant. Application. Submitted. That means trying to carve out some thinking time.

Reboot research a little. I still feel like I’m playing catch-up, mostly trying to wrap up existing work (or work paused for various career changes), so haven’t felt like I’ve had time to focus on new work I’d like to do, even though I’ve been at the museum for just over 2 years. This might involve permanently shelving some projects that don’t have external pressures, at least for now. And grappling with how to accomplish research in the (poor, IMHO) research environment of the UK.

Sort out the house. We’ve never lived longer than 4 years in any single address, so the idea of boxes sitting in rooms feels totally normal, but it might be time to settle and invest in some (more) bookcases, shelves, and storage units.

Queer up science some more. Especially in the field.

Here’s to a happy, healthy 2020 everyone!