Category Archives: Uncategorized

12 Tips on How to do Outreach on Twitter.

( I wrote this post for the “Progressive Community” section of my science advocacy project Science for Progress.)

Twitter is great for communication. You can get your knowledge, opinions, and personality in front of people, easily. And you can curate your timeline to show tweets from people you align with. People, whose humor you enjoy. Or people who you think can teach you something, be it through mutual exchange or simply reading what they have to say.

But you need to know how!

I have been on twitter for quite some time – more than any one person who knows me would expect, because I played around under pseudonyms – a lot. By doing so, I think I have gained a little bit of experience with the dynamics on twitter. I also have notoriously little patience with bad communication – including my own mistakes, which you can still witness regularly.

Continue reading 12 Tips on How to do Outreach on Twitter.

How to Read a Scientific Research Paper

In this episode I explain how to read a scientific paper for beginners! It gives some basic information on the mindset you should have when approaching research papers. Going through the different parts of the typical “IMRaD” article, I provide questions the readers should ask themselves.
I then give a brief intro in literature search, and how an expert in the field reads more efficient by jumping directly to the crucial parts of the paper that provide novelty.

Here is a PDF with the information in the video:

Continue reading How to Read a Scientific Research Paper

Comment on Obama’s raise

Currently, every scientist with a salary above ca. $24k/yr is exempt from over time pay in the USA – and over time here means everything over 40hrs in a week. Obama now thinks about changing this threshold to ca $50k/yr. This is big, because postdocs make only about $43k/yr on average. So if this comes, and if postdocs become eligible for over time pay, PIs will need deep pockets, because postdocs often routinely work 60-80 hour weeks. In this scenario they probably would increase the minimum salary for postdocs above that $51k level, which would be an enormous jump for most postdocs. Now, while I am confident funding agencies and leading academics will lobby against it, and not all postdocs are officially employed, and I’m rather on the pessimistic side of things, I still think one should at least have spoken up. Otherwise I wouldn’t be eligible for wining, later, right? 😉

So, today I wrote the following comment and made it official by posting it on!docketDetail;D=WHD-2015-0001 – which I think is something every US grad student and postdoc should do, too.

Continue reading Comment on Obama’s raise

Neuroscientists, where did you come from?

I have often been curious about where neuroscientists come from in an academic career / interests sense. Meaning: what kind of interests did they first start with, when they were young and innocent ;). So, after someone on Twitter brought this topic up again, I made a quick survey using SurveyMonkey and posted it on Twitter and Facebook. Here I want to share the results.

Continue reading Neuroscientists, where did you come from?

‘Eckmeier-ize’ your bioRxiv submissions


as I noted earlier, we submitted my first project at Shea lab not only to a journal for peer review but also to a preprint server called Since I hate reading manuscripts formatted for review (12 pt doublespace and figures at the end of the file), I put in a little time to make it look more professional.

Today I was asked for the MSWord template, so here it is.

I hope you will find it useful!

Have fun tinkering with your manuscript 😀


UPDATE (April 23, 2014) Another version features a text by Gaius Julius Caesar.

UPDATE (January 10, 2016) another group based an updated template on my idea: Template by Finkelstein