Media Cloud: Explorer

Media Cloud: Explorer

Media Cloud,  jointly run by the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Center for Civic Media at MIT, is an open source, open data platform offering a suite of tools for media analysis. Media Cloud is free to use and allows you to analyze media attention and influence for topics you care about, better understand how narratives and ideas spread, and explore media trends. There already is a comprehensive webinar out there, that introduces the…

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Mental Health New Year’s Resolutions

Mental Health New Year’s Resolutions

In all honesty, 2017 tested my courage, perseverance, and hope. After cutting the (false) safety net of my eating disorder in the summer of 2016, “finishing” therapy shortly after, travelling through Southeast Asia half a year, and returning to Western world in spring 2017, I found myself having to face my personal challenges and fears head on without the distractions of foreign cultures and exciting adventures, or self-destructive coping mechanisms. How did that go? Disastrously. I was not prepared to…

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Mass shootings won’t change gun policies.

Mass shootings won’t change gun policies.

Reading the news yesterday morning, I found out about another shooting in the US – a tragedy that seemingly happens every couple weeks now. When I then looked at different news sources on Twitter and how people responded to the news, all I could think was ‘these people are talking past each other with no chance of reaching their opponents’. The reason for this was, seeing that gun policy is a highly ideological and polarizing topic, that each party made…

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Conference World Debut: Oh hi, anxie— err excitement!

Conference World Debut: Oh hi, anxie— err excitement!

I just came back from my first *real* conference (one that was directly related to my work and passion), and it was incredible and overwhelming. I was super excited when I got invited to the Open Science Fair in Athens. First Open Science conference, first time in Greece, first poster presentation. Before I left for the conference a couple other firsts got added to that list: first conference talk and I landed my first job right before the conference. All…

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Aletheia for OSFair2017

Aletheia for OSFair2017

Aletheia: publish research for free, access research for free Aletheia is a decentralised and distributed database for publishing scientific research and datasets. The database itself is managed as a Decentralised Autonomous Organisation (DAO) run by users. Aletheia was inspired by the documentary covering Aaron Swartz’s struggle with paywalls in academic publishing, The Internet’s Own Boy. Academic paywalls are discriminatory to those who cannot pay for research and serve no purpose past making money for publishers as research is usually covered…

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When your ‘Dark Passenger’ travels along

When your ‘Dark Passenger’ travels along

I have always said that travelling is one of the greatest opportunities you can get for personal growth and fighting (some) of your mental battles. I still believe that is true, especially for shorter periods of up to two months or so. Yet, my perspective on longer-term travelling and coping with mental health problems has changed over the last couple of months. When I left Berlin in September (5 months ago at the time of writing!), my mental state was…

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Exploring Cambodia with Local Guides

Exploring Cambodia with Local Guides

Before going to Cambodia, I never really had a local guide to show me around. To be honest, I never really thought about the benefits that much, instead I thought “Oh wait, pay $[x] more to get someone to show me the sights or give me a tour? Nah, I’m fine.” I am still travelling on a budget, so I understand if you are having similar thoughts. But, deciding to get a local guide has made my Cambodia travels so…

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Angkor Wat x Banteay Chhmar

Angkor Wat x Banteay Chhmar

Jon and I are currently travelling through Cambodia, such a beautiful (and dusty) country, and the people here are the so welcoming. We kicked off our journey in Siem Reap, where we visited Angkor Wat right on our first day – perfect timing as we found out. Just a few days later we went to see Banteay Chhmar, which lies 170km north-west of Angkor. Both are Khmer Buddhist temple sites, yet they are very different from each other. This post is…

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Chiang Mai – Paradise in Northern Thailand

Chiang Mai – Paradise in Northern Thailand

I’ve just spent another two months in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. In the last 1,5 years, I’ve visited Chiang Mai four times, and stayed there for six months all together. I think after all this time I now have a pretty good feel of the city’s vibe, and was lucky to become a part of it. This will not be the typical “20 Awesome Things to Do in Chiang Mai” type of post, but instead I’ll write about how…

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My application to the Sage Bionetworks 2017 Assembly: Mapping Open Research Ecosystems

My application to the Sage Bionetworks 2017 Assembly: Mapping Open Research Ecosystems

Dear Sage Bionetworks, I am writing to express my great interest in your Assembly in Seattle this coming April. I recently finished my Master’s in North American Studies, which focused on politics and culture. My research has focused on how partisan groups communicate their messages, and what leads to either successful or failed communication. In that, I gained a deep understanding of how communities are established, what holds them together, and what causes disruption, which can lead to the formation…

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