Greetings from Strasbourg, France.


This week I am back in Strasbourg, the city where I have been a student for 5 years. There are so many places, tastes, and people there who remind me of great times. On one hand, the undergrad times feel very far away; because being a PhD student is an entire another world. One the other hand, it still feels like one of my “homes”, and I could still walk over there to my old bench, and continue experimenting.

At the time I was 17 and started the Bachelor, the University was called “Louis Pasteur”, and not “Université de Strasbourg” yet. Louis Pasteur, the great scientist, was actually a professor in Strasbourg around 1850. So yesterday, I walked in front of one of the houses where he used to live, and took a little picture. It’s in a beautiful little small street near the cathedral. It’s these sort of things you don’t care for when you actually live there,and walk in front of it all the time; but that you really notice once you’re only an occasional visitor.



Have a great week-end, people.


Famous Scientists Quotes – 1 – Chance favors only the prepared mind.

Time for another quote ! This time, not from a contemporary PI, but from one of my favorite scientist (a review of a biography will come up at some point) : Louis Pasteur !

When casually talking with your fellow PhD’s, I’m sure you often end up saying that what make the difference between an average PhD and and great PhD is a little bit of chance. I have to say I don’t fully adhere to the idea, and to support it, here come the quote of the day :

“Did you ever observe to whom the accidents happen? Chance favors only the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur

I would fully agree with this statement. A talented scientist had always to be ready for chance, and should be ready to see peculiar little results as interesting, rather then “missed experiment”, “background noise”, “variability”, “outliner”, and so on … Great discoveries were made by people who knew how to look at data scientifically, and who were prepared for chance. I think it’s a crucial point.

Moreover, I would like to add this one : “When you work seven days a week, fourteen hours a day, you get lucky.” – Louis Pasteur

That’s even more true. Success always ends up being tightly conditioned by work. I do not believe a second that talent, chance, or fate are ever enough.

Hum … food for thoughts, right ?