To (Science) Blog or Not to (Science) Blog

To (Science) Blog or Not to (Science) Blog

Look out technical science writing, there’s an alternative voice in town. In the past decade, bloggers have taken to their keyboards and changed the voice of the internet. With their relaxed writing styles and ability to impart wisdom in a few short paragraphs, most of the online population consumes science blogs. Although scientists are often…

Reaching Out – How to Get Started in Science Outreach

Reaching Out – How to Get Started in Science Outreach

Science outreach is a great way to energize yourself to work better at the bench. If you are curious about doing outreach and want to know how to get the ball rolling, I can suggest places to look for people and events to connect with. Like a knitted sweater, you only have to find one…

Are you Guilty of P-Hacking?

Are you Guilty of P-Hacking?

P-value abuse directly contributes to one of the biggest problems facing the scientific community: the prominence of false-positive results in the published literature. Contrary to popular interpretation, the p-value doesn’t indicate the likelihood that the observed result was due to chance. There are important qualifications to p-value interpretation.  Moreover, the p-value cannot directly speak to…

Science Outreach: Why Should You Care?

Science Outreach: Why Should You Care?

All scientists should be involved in some aspect of outreach. There. I said it. I know, I know. This goes completely against why most scientists pursued their careers in the first place: to dedicate their lives to discovery, and to do so alone. With minimal human interaction, especially with non-scientists. Why You Should Reach Out…

How do you Solve a Problem like Pseudoscience?

How do you Solve a Problem like Pseudoscience?

If you need hair advice are you more likely to scour the Trichological Society’s website, or head over to Pinterest? In the age of the search button, people have access to all sorts of “information,” and knowledge is power. No subject or discipline is shielded from social media, and now more than ever the public…

How to Write a Press Release to Impress

How to Write a Press Release to Impress

If you’re like most scientists, you spend far more time worrying about getting your name on a paper than in the paper. Concerns over misrepresentation, peer perception and busy schedules keep scientists from reaching out to the media and, by extension, the public. Sharing your science is beneficial to both the public and your own…

How to Have a Successful Lab Outreach Program

How to Have a Successful Lab Outreach Program

Lab outreach programs are one of the ways that science reaches out to its future generations and entices them to join the ranks of those who have pledged allegiance to the pursuit of the unknown. Successfully running these programs for young adolescents depends on a certain number of factors, such as the ability to capture…

Five Truths About Science Publishing or Why All Science Should be Free

Five Truths About Science Publishing or Why All Science Should be Free

After writing my last article, I have started illegally downloading hundreds of scientific publications from the pirate website, Sci-Hub. When I mentioned that at the last lab meeting, my labmates argued that using Sci-Hub was like stealing in a shop or downloading illegal music. So? Should I feel like Batman or the Joker? The Morality…

Brahe’s Battles:  The Outcome

Brahe’s Battles: The Outcome

What do science and rapping have in common?  Usually not much.  Unless you happen to be Tom McFadden that is, and then rapping becomes a tool for teaching kids about science. Tom McFadden is no stranger to music and science.  Tom is a science communicator whose hit single, Regulatin’ Genes, garnered him national recognition.  In…

Avoiding Plagiarism in Science

Avoiding Plagiarism in Science

I remember when I first learned about plagiarism during my undergraduate course. The lecturers were so firm in telling us that if we got caught plagiarizing we would face serious repercussions and that all our work, especially our dissertations, would be vigorously checked by plagiarism detecting software. I was so panicked that I would inadvertently…

Keeping Your Science Out of the (Junk) Headlines

Keeping Your Science Out of the (Junk) Headlines

As a research scientist you spend years toiling away on your area of interest, hoping for a big breakthrough, or at least a more minor contribution to your field. So it is no doubt frustrating to see good science gone bad (or just bad science) perpetuated by the mainstream media catering to those with an…

Science and the Media – Dos and Don’ts

Science and the Media – Dos and Don’ts

Have you ever wondered how the media can write (often cringingly inaccurately) about a recently published scientific paper? Attending Standing up for Science media workshop organised by the Sense about Science charity shed a lot of light on this issue for me There are times when the media are hungry for any news, mostly during…

Who Else Thinks Biology Teaching Methods are Wrong?

Who Else Thinks Biology Teaching Methods are Wrong?

I shudder to think of the way I was taught about metabolic pathways as an undergrad. Lists of mysterious names connected by arrows – all to be memorized, with little reference to how the processes actually worked on a chemical basis. Even worse – and perhaps embarrassingly for me – I was almost at the…