Friday, 11 November 2016

Blowing my own trumpet

By now, any regular readers here will recognise the general format of this blog. Broadly speaking I either tell you how lovely LittleBear is, or I reveal the darker recesses of my own psyche, or I rant about something (consequential or otherwise). That pretty much covers it doesn't it? Well, today we're taking a departure from our normal schedule to bring you breaking news from the frontiers of science.

Today I received notice that I have been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Slightly modified certificate

According to Institute of Physics, being a Fellow is:

"A mark of peer esteem. A sign of significant contributions to physics. A demonstration of impact on your field. Fellowship of the IOP indicates a very high level of achievement in physics and a significant contribution to the profession."

That's me, that is.

I am, actually, inordinately proud of myself for having achieved this. I was sponsored by two of my long-standing customers - Professor A, head of atmospheric chemistry at Very Good University, and Professor C, head of molecular physics at Even Better University, both of whom wrote glowing testimonies for me. I've spent the last 18 years working with, for and among academics, all of them more highly qualified, on paper, than I am. And now I finally have the trump card, the letters that say "I've reached the top of my profession. I am as good as you. I may even be better than you". And, what is more, there are only about 180 female Fellows of the Institute of Physics, which puts me in a pretty special group. It may not stop the self-doubt or defeat the symptoms of Imposter Syndrome, but it's certainly going to help me hold my head up high and know that a panel of some of the most senior physicists in my country have assessed me and found me good enough to join them.

This also means I am now entitled to adorn my name with the letters "FInstP". And on all those countless occasions when I wear academic dress, I am now allowed to wear a different kind of hood, and a gown with fancy cuffs. Which will come in handy.

To quote a Young Person that I know, "You go girl!"