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Business & Education Professional Development

Combined Wisdom

Over the past year, the editorial team has had the pleasure – and honor – of interviewing gifted, inspiring, and often humble analytical scientists. I decided that the final issue of the year was a great time to share their thoughts rather than mine...

  1. “Chromatographers are not magicians and separations do not happen by magic (although it sometimes seems like they do)! In reality, you need to understand what you are looking for, which is why it is so important to teach basic concepts.” Carlo Bicchi 
  2. “Who says you can’t have fundamental and applied science working together? The one cannot exist without the other!” Lutgarde Buydens 
  3. “I’m helping humanity in some way, and there’s no greater goal.” Waseem Asghar 
  4. “What questions are compelling in other fields, and how can you contribute? That’s how to stay excited and engaged.” Frank Bright 
  5. “A lot of my ideas come from keeping my eyes open to what’s really happening in the chemistry, and not taking as gospel what people think about a particular system. People can sometimes make the mistake of turning speculation into fact...” Chris Pohl 
  6. “I’m not a biologist and a biologist is not an analytical chemist – and we might both need informatics support. In other words, we need to work together. Modern science is very much a team game.” Jessica Prenni 
  7. “Life will take you where you do not expect. Take advantage of what you have when you have it.” Gary Christian 
  8. “We take our analytical equipment (often instrumentation we have developed ourselves) to the museum, and we really get up close with masterpieces – normally, you are not allowed to touch!” Koen Janssens 
  9. “The feeling that you reached a new level of understanding – that excites me very much. It’s a little bit like being the first man on the moon.” Albert Heck 
  10. “How can we measure tiny quantities, in real time, in complex biological systems? It’s incredibly challenging, but if we can develop the right tools, a whole new world of opportunities opens up in terms of what we can understand about the world around us.” Emily Hilder 
  11. “Some professors don’t want their students delaying their research by working in industry for the summer – they should stay in the lab, doing basic research! Eighty percent of PhD students in the USA go into industry, yet 90 percent of grad students are taught that they should become academics. There’s something wrong there.” Harold McNair 
  12. “As a community, we need to invest more in the education of our students; they need to be free enough – financially and emotionally – to do the crazy stuff.” Sarah Trimpin

Best wishes for the New Year!

Rich Whitworth


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  1. Carlo Bicchi
  2. Lutgarde Buydens
  3. Waseem Asghar
  4. Frank Bright
  5. Chris Pohl
  6. Jessica Prenni
  7. Gary Christian
  8. Koen Janssens
  9. Albert Heck
  10. Emily Hilder
  11. Harold McNair
  12. Sarah Trimpin

About the Author

Rich Whitworth

Rich Whitworth completed his studies in medical biochemistry at the University of Leicester, UK, in 1998. To cut a long story short, he escaped to Tokyo to spend five years working for the largest English language publisher in Japan. "Carving out a career in the megalopolis that is Tokyo changed my outlook forever. When seeing life through such a kaleidoscopic lens, it's hard not to get truly caught up in the moment." On returning to the UK, after a few false starts with grey, corporate publishers, Rich was snapped up by Texere Publishing, where he spearheaded the editorial development of The Analytical Scientist. "I feel honored to be part of the close-knit team that forged The Analytical Scientist – we've created a very fresh and forward-thinking publication." Rich is now also Content Director of Texere Publishing, the company behind The Analytical Scientist.

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