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.

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Write Your First Scientific Research Paper (Draft)

This video is the first of two parts focused on practical tips for writing your first research article draft. It is deliberately reductive to simply get a student started on writing. More in-depth information to come in later videos!

I talk about how to prepare the writing and and how to begin writing the methods and the results sections.

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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:

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The Basic Structure of a Research Paper: IMRaD

I started my first video series! It’s on scholarship, and I begin by talking about research papers. How they are constructed, how one should read them, and how one can start writing them!

In this video I introduce the basic structure of the modern research paper: IMRaD, which stands for “Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion”

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Insecurity and Uncertainties for Early Career Academics (SfP podcast episode)

One of my pet peeves with academia is the treatment of PhD students and postdocs which I feel borders(?) on exploitation. I talked with Maria Pinto, who is from Portugal and is currently PhD student in Austria in marine microbiology for my podcast “Science for Societal Progress”. Looking forward to her final year as a PhD student she is beginning to think more and more seriously about what a career in academia would mean to her.

Science for Societal Progress Podcast Episode 19
Continue reading Insecurity and Uncertainties for Early Career Academics (SfP podcast episode)

Getting Real with my Video Series

Well, it’s out and announced in both my YouTube Channel welcome message and this other preview video that I posted on Facebook and LinkedIn.

I am planning to do two series, and I hope to publish them alternately and I also hope to get the first one out by Thursday, February 7th. Crossing fingers that this will work out!

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This is how you can subscribe to my podcast!

I am running a podcast for Science for Progress, and there I am talking about how to improve academia, and how science/academia interacts with society. I interview people who are, for example, working on better metrics for research(er) evaluation, people who work on topics relevant to society (such as GMO food, and animal welfare), or someone who can tell us a bit about Science Communication, or the PhD experience.

Interested? Well, you should subscribe to the podcast, then!

Here is how:

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Being a Guest on a Podcast

When you are going to be interviewed for a podcast, you should remember that the episode may be downloaded hundreds or thousands of times. And you don’t want your listeners to turn it off after a few minutes because your sound is awful.

Sure, the podcaster can do a couple of things in post-production to rescue a bad recording. But you want to make sure that you did everything you could (in that moment) to help improve the quality of your sound.

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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? đŸ˜‰

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

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