#Chemsummer Carnival – Productive summer in the lab?

I have finally found some inspiration and time to do a #chemsummer post. There have been a few posts already but I imagine there may be a rush of posts today, so do keep an eye on your readers or twitter.

How is anyone ever productive in the summer?

On paper, the summer break should be the most productive time of year with no students around to bother us. In reality though, I find it my least productive time of the year (as this PhD comic shows).


Below are a list of things that I think are good and bad about the summer vacation:


  • No MChems in the lab (which unfortunately is balanced, of course, by the summer students).
  • No NMR queue
  • No teaching commitments
  • Conferences bring the chance to ‘network’ i.e. get sloshed with like-minded people.


  • I returned from my holiday in the US of A and began working back in the lab only to find that half of my glassware, cork rings, pipette teats and marker pens had gone walkies. Thankfully, I have managed to shift the equilibrium back in my favour by using my powerful master key.
  • Whichever member of staff I need is on holiday. They return from vacation to tell you that you actually need to talk to someone else, who it then turns out is also on vacation.
  • When it is 25°C outside, it is 35°C in the office.
  • All my teacher friends stop complaining for the first time all year and repeatedly post photos of themselves enjoying the nice weather.

So, what do you think? Are you more productive over the summer? What problems do you face when trying to get sh*t done? Let me know in the comments or on twitter (@jessthechemist).

3 thoughts on “#Chemsummer Carnival – Productive summer in the lab?

  1. I find in the Southern Hemisphere we’re very unproductive over the summer break because it’s also Christmas and New Year for us – subsequently you can’t run NMRs because the staff is on leave, you can’t get chemicals because everything is shut down, etc. Overall, it’s worthwhile not taking any leave during the year and just taking several weeks off to enjoy the endless sunshine 🙂

  2. My writing always improves over summer. My advantages and disadvantages are the same as yours. So I make the most of not being needed in the lab and spread my lab work out more and take time to write- especially when the lab/office at work are unbearably hot.

  3. Pingback: The Dog Days of #ChemSummer | Grand CENtral

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