• Spotlight

    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 of these things were a huge confidence boost and made me even more excited to go, yet feelings of excitement and anxiety lie really close together. So, my mind kind…

  • Aletheia

    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 through funding from governments and other bodies. Couple this with the fact that the companies managing paywalls don’t add any significant value to the publishing process that couldn’t be added…

  • Vancouver Science World

    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 stable and I felt ready to take on anything that would come my way. You could hear the world tremble at the prospect. During the ten weeks I spent in…

  • Jon and Vany in Sen Monorom

    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 much more special, and I can only recommend it to everyone. Spend those extra dollars, and you’ll be rewarded with extra special memories. We tried different kinds of guides during…

  • Angkor Wat

    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 not to say go to one or the other, but rather to encourage  you to see both if you ever make your way over here. Accessability & Costs Angkor Wat…

  • Chiang Mai

    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 you can experience Chiang Mai from a different perspective, one that goes beyond ticking boxes on your sightseeing list. For me, I feel like opening your eyes and immersing yourself…

  • 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

    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

    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…