I am Neuroscience PhD, a humanist, skeptic, feminist, avid reader, science enthusiast, woolly-liberal über-nerd, and, as of October 2015, father to the Lykketroll.

I moved from England to Norway in January 2012 and live in Lørenskog with my wife, the Lykketroll, and our two aging rescue cats, Socrates and Schrödinger. 

I am on paternity leave from the 4th of July to the 18th of November. 

The job I am on leave from is as an  Associate Professor and Head of Studies at the Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. My background is in child neurodevelopment (my PhD looked into the relationship between fatty acids like omega-3 and cognitive development in young children) but I now work on a hodge-podge of things roughly within the field of Universal Design of ICT 50% of the time, the other 50% of my time I am Head of the 'General' Studies (Allmenn in Norwegian) Unit, which is comprised of around 24 academics within a range of fields, including mathematics, physics, Norwegian, and technology and leadership.

In between working and doing the usual dad things,  I like hiking and running in the beautiful Norwegian outdoors, cooking and playing video games. 

If I believed in souls I would say that mine was born in Norway. 

I plan to sleep when I'm dead.

10 things that make raising a baby a scientist’s worst nightmare.

10 things that make raising a baby a scientist’s worst nightmare.

The Troll is a longitudinal study with an n of 1, and this is not his only problem.

  1. Any form of objectivity is completely out of the window.
  2. There is no adequate control group.
  3. Everything is one giant multiple comparisons problem
  4. There are spurious correlation problems EVERYWHERE. (Aside from the ones associated with teething, the latest one I’ve had to dispel is the spurious correlation between cold weather and ear infections. In children, the Eustachian tube, which ventilates the middle ear and keeps it clear and dry, has a harder time staying open because it hasn’t yet fully developed, leaving it more vulnerable to blockage because of  infections like the common cold. Cold weather does not cause colds, viruses do; close contact with others when we are forced indoors by cold weather is the reason why cold temperatures are associated with increased infections.)*
  5. The Hawthorne Effect (or more accurately the demand effect) is inescapable. 
  6. Confirmation bias is rife: it’s far too easy to remember and get excited about all the times he burbles ‘at!’ in the direction of the cats and forget all the times he just grunts at the them or shouts ‘at!’ at the curtains or a cup of water.
  7. Occasionally, he is quantum superposition manifest in macro baby form: he is able to be in all states simultaneously before collapsing into a single defined state. Occasionally he somehow managed to be the opposite: he is in a single (mostly happy state) until is observed, and then suddenly manages to be in all states simultaneously. 
  8. For now, and for a long time to come, because we don’t know him and he doesn’t know himself well enough yet, there is no mean to regress to.
  9. Keeping a detailed lab book is frowned upon for some reason.
  10. The peer review process is even harder to get through unscathed. 

*I realised I need to be a little more nuanced after a friend's comment and clarification on Facebook: lab experiments have shown that cold temperatures might directly make us more vulnerable to infection (not just increase contact with infected people). This adds a little wrinkle the discussion my wife and I regularly have about whether or not the Troll should be wearing a hat now that the weather is starting to turn.

10 things it helps to remind myself of every day

10 things it helps to remind myself of every day

Mussels steamed in cider and bacon

Mussels steamed in cider and bacon