Driven to diffraction: thanks and farewell Claire Murray

Claire Murray (@drclairemurray) is a beamline support scientist at the Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron science facility, and joined RealScientists in July. 

Claire shared with us her wonderfully unique take on powder diffraction, where smashing something into tiny pieces actually helps you figure out what the item originally was.

Periscope also featured heavily during Claire’s week, so we got to see heaps of the goings on around the Diamond Light Source.

It would also appear that the definition of “mini” is somewhat relative at a synchrotron.

and would you get a load of this detector! Such two theta wow.

We asked Claire to complete our post-curation interview, to which she kindly obliged.

In general terms, how did you find your week as a curator?

Manic! It happened to be a very busy week at work for me, so I was running about and tweeting like a lunatic at the same time! It was tremendous fun though and I think people got a great insight into life at a synchrotron.

It can be a shock talking to so many. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?

I found it very interesting. People were very curious and very lovely. The rush of interactions was great, particularly when I told the story of Kathleen Lonsdale. That was a fantastic experience for me. There were a very small number of bad interactions but given the positive interactions it was easier to ignore those.

What were the highlights? Were there any lowlights?

I have a few! The tour of Diamond (lowlight was my phone kept crashing!) with @Ed_Rial, discussing my Palladium cages which people seemed to really like, and also talking about Kathleen Lonsdale. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t have more interactions when discussing @DLSProjectM, as this is something I am incredibly excited about.

Is there anything you wanted to get out of / do on the RS account that you didn’t manage to fit in?

I didn’t get a chance to discuss the survey that I mentioned in some of my earlier tweets and also there was some more of my work that I wanted to chat about. It is hard to pack it all in though!

Did you have a plan? If so, did you stick to it?

Yes I did, and sort of. My plan was roughly based around what I was doing each day, and so it developed from there!

Do you have any tips or advice for future RS curators?

I read @reecielevin’s summary before I started and that was hugely helpful. Prioritising self-care is essential. I had prebooked a day off with my sister, so I stuck to that and didn’t tweet whilst I was with her. Little breaks like that are really helpful!
Also, remembering this is also crucial:
Don’t let the small number of negative interactions dominate the huge number of positive interactions you will have throughout the week!

What other people or accounts should people follow if they enjoyed your tweets this week?

@Ed_Rial, @Helen_E_Mc, @xtalgrrl, @Jonny_CBB, @suziesheehy

Thanks once again Claire from all of us here at RealScientists HQ. If you missed anything from her week, the tweets are all collated at the following link.


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