My Debut as SciComm Video Writer

I proudly present my first collaboration with German SciComm YouTuber Dr. Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim! Besides running one of Germany’s biggest channels for science communication with currently 570k subscribers, Dr. Nguyen-Kim also moderates the successful science show “Quarks” on public TV. She has been awarded several highly prestigious prizes over the last two years.

Using Elon Musk’s preprint paper for a new brain-machine interface as a hook, I first introduce some neuroscience basics. Then I describe three impressive experiments by Miguel Nicolelis to showcase the possibilities of BMIs. Finally, I discussed the difficulties and disadvantages of current approaches, and how Elon Musk’s company Neuralink aims to solve some of them.

Dr. Nguyen-Kim was able to get disabled inclusion activist Raul Krauthausen for an interview to add an ethics discussion. Overall, I am humbled by Dr. Nguyen-Kim’s ability to turn the script into an entertaining video. Working with her as well as her writer Dr. Lars Dittrich and her animation specialist Melanie Gath was a great experience.

I will alter your brain!!

In July I participated in the German science web video contest “Fast Forward Science”. In this video I explain the concept of the “brain changes” that people keep talking about in the headlines: brain states, and neuroplasticity.

The video is in German, but you can switch on English subtitles.

P.S. Unfortunately the video did not make it into the second round πŸ™

Postdoc Project: noradrenergic plasticity in the olfactory system – AMA (4/4)

When mice learn the identity of other mice, they memorize their smell. Based on findings from another lab my adviser had shown that stimulating the release of noradrenalin causes plastic changes in the Main Olfactory Bulb. I used fluorescent imaging to show that such changes already appear at the first synapse that connects the olfactory sensory neurons to the rest of the brain.

THE 4 CORE ELEMENTS of science communication.

this was first posted on Science for Progress.

One of the most daunting things I faced when preparing my first communication attempts was not WHAT I was going to talk about, but HOW?!

It helped me A LOT to understand that there are 4 CORE ELEMENTS that pretty much every communication piece needs. With those in mind I could start figuring out what my main message should be. It made starting to write / script / create SO much easier.

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My PhD: 3D perception in zebra finches – AMA (3/4)

Zebra finches have a problem: their eyes are too close together for good depth perception through stereovision. The distance up to which you can estimate depth from stereovision depends on the difference between the images from the two eyes. The closer together the eyes are, the more similar the images, the shorter the range in which stereovision works for you.

Continue reading My PhD: 3D perception in zebra finches – AMA (3/4)

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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