Editor's Note

It's about time

Comfort Dorn
November 01, 2019

Our concept of time is dictated, at least in part, by how we spend our days. For those who work in academia, the year is shaped by the cycle of semesters and vacations that make up a school calendar, and days might include set hours for teaching, study, writing and research.

When I was home taking care of infant children, I lived very much in the moment, and many moments dragged interminably. My sleep-deprived brain seldom could look beyond the next feeding or diaper change. Toilet training and teething were processes that took months but seemed to go on for years. Yet when my children went off to elementary school, it had all passed in a flash.

For a couple of years, I had a job as an administrator in an Episcopal church. Many of my tasks, such as newsletters and bulletins, had weekly or monthly deadlines, but hovering overhead was the great cycle of the liturgical year with its ancient rituals. The feast of Pentecost might fall in May, but January wasn’t too early to start planning.

When I worked at a daily newspaper, we had a 24-hour cycle that reset every night as soon as the next day’s issue landed in the press room. We all liked working on long-term projects, but every day we had to feed the beast — and that was the schedule that drove us. The advent of 24-hour online news only made the pace more frantic.

As managing editor of this magazine, I have gone back to looking many months into the future. We spend a fair bit of time planning our feature stories and special issues, and we also need to keep in mind the calendar of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology — the hub of which is the annual meeting.

Here at ASBMB central, we constantly think and talk about the society’s biggest event; the next annual meeting is forever looming, even the day after the last one ends. We aim to include annual meeting information in almost every issue of ASBMB Today — because it’s that important.

This month, we profile the 12 fascinating people who have been named recipients of the ASBMB’s annual awards and will speak at the 2020 annual meeting in San Diego. In the past, we’ve profiled award winners right before the meeting; here, we’re trying something new. The 2020 meeting may be five months away, but once you’ve read about these researchers — their lives and their science — I think you’ll want to register right away.

Depending on the pace of your life right now, those five months could just fly by.

Comfort Dorn

Comfort Dorn is the managing editor of ASBMB Today.

Join the ASBMB Today mailing list

Sign up to get updates on articles, interviews and events.

Latest in Opinions

Opinions highlights or most popular articles

‘The five love languages’ in science mentoring

‘The five love languages’
in science mentoring

January 17, 2020

The five love languages helped Scott Aoki become a better, more present husband and father. He thinks they can also help researchers in academia.

Taking the measure of my treadmill

Taking the measure of my treadmill

January 16, 2020

"As I approached age 58 in 2010, I realized I was entering a zone full of health dangers. I decided to take matters into my own hands and start exercising more frequently and more rigorously."

How volunteering enriched my life as a Ph.D. student

How volunteering enriched my life as a Ph.D. student

January 15, 2020

"From failed experiments to weak presentations, I sometimes doubt myself as a researcher. Science outreach boosts my spirits in these times of self-doubt."

Being a mother of young children while having a career in academia
What I Wish People Understood

Being a mother of young children while having a career in academia

January 14, 2020

"I got pregnant with twins during the last part of my postdoctoral training. The pregnancy was planned, but the two-for-one special was a shock and wreaked havoc on my detailed financial and career plans."

When the going gets tough, I go to the gym

When the going gets tough,
I go to the gym

January 13, 2020

"I needed something to ease my mind — something that I could do for myself every single day that would relieve some of the pressure."

This week's staff picks

This week's staff picks

January 11, 2020

Here’s a compilation of what our staff has been reading this week. Enjoy, and feel free to tweet us (@ASBMB) your thoughts.