• Spotlight

    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 of subgroups, or even new communities. For me, communities are an integral part to ecosystems. Within an ecosystem different groups, each with individual backgrounds, ideologies, and interest, come together and…

  • Spotlight

    Open Science-ing in Chiang Mai

    As some of you know, Jon and I are travelling through Southeast Asia at the moment. We always try to find things to do that lead away from the typical ‘tourist trail’, and let us connect with the local people and environment to experience Thailand (for now) on a deeper level. It is also very important for us to live our passions wherever we go, because only then can we fully be our authentic selves. Instead of doing the usual and just touring the temples of Chiang Mai, we wanted to make an impact here, and share our love for all things Open Science. Jon and I were lucky enough…

  • Echo Chamber
    Spotlight

    Facebook and the Echo Chamber of Secrets

    Since the 2016 election kicked off, the term ‘echo chamber’ has been dropped more times than Casey Neistat has dropped his camera over the course of his vlog. The concept of an echo chamber describes a closed system, where information, beliefs, and/or opinions that comply with personal preferences are augmented and reinforced. Opposing views, however, are often marginalized or neglected from any sort of thought process or aspect of life. Being exposed to highly one-sided information that strengthens personal beliefs, while other perspectives are underrepresented, can decrease our understanding of different perspectives immensely, and even undermine our willingness and necessity to try to understand the ‘other side’. An even greater…

  • Scientoons by Armin Mortazavi
    Spotlight

    Scientoons are my new favorite thing!

    One of the coolest regular events I attended while in Vancouver was Nerd Nite, where self-confessed ‘nerds’ share their projects and stories. On my first Nerd Nite, I learned about Scientoons – cartoons about science. Although younger audiences are just as important as older ones, I feel like they are often left out when it comes to our science communication efforts. Cartoons are a great way to spark kids’ interest in science, and can make learning much more appealing to them. They’re a great way of breaking down potential generational barriers, as well as bringing out the inner kid in older audiences too. I immediately fell in love with the…

  • Let's talk about drugs.
    Spotlight

    Time for a new perspective

    Before I start, I know some of you will not wholly agree with what I have to say, and that’s perfectly fine. Comment on this post and give counter-arguments if you wish, because what I’m writing here is about getting a conversation started, and inviting other perspectives in. Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. That is if you keep away from Downtown Eastside, which is like nothing I have ever seen before. This area has a very high population of marginalized people – the homeless, drug addicts, and the mentally or physically ill. When compared to the rest of Vancouver, the area shows a…

  • Lisa Matthias
    Spotlight

    Why I decided to publish my Master’s thesis

    A little over a month ago, I published my Master’s thesis (you can read about it here). Special thanks to the amazing team at ScienceOpen, who made it all possible and painless. I will write about the publishing process another time. One reason why I wanted to publish my thesis was that, realistically, nobody really cares about thesis grades later on in your career, but a publication gives you credibility. Master’s degrees are relatively common these days, but a publication will help you stand out from other candidates when you apply for jobs. Besides, it shows your future employers that you are hard-working, determined, and dedicated. Because let’s be honest,…