Voices of VoYS

Our Voice of Young Science members come from all over the UK; read what some of them have been up, what they are working on, and their reactions to our VoYS workshops.

Rebecca Linnett

Rebecca was at our Standing up for Science workshop at the University of Warwick. She explores the day in a three part series on her blog:

This workshop aimed to help early career researchers make their voices heard in public debates about science by hosting panel discussions with scientists and science journalists who talked about how to effectively engage with the media about science and research.

Read the first part of Rebecca’s series on the workshop on her blog. (7 July 2017)

Part two focuses on the journalist session. (7 July 2017)

Part three is all about resources and tips from experts to help you stand up for science. (12 July 2017)

David Docquier

David came to our first Standing up for Science workshop in Brussels; with a focus on “Communicating your research to policy makers and journalists”:

This workshop was really a great way for me and other EU researchers to get tips for communicating with policy makers and journalists. I am sure these recommendations will be useful in my potential future contacts with policymakers and journalists.

David writes about the workshop for Taylor & Francis. (6 July 2017)

Adam Bateson

Adam was interested in peer review and came to our London workshop. He wrote for Taylor & Francis, and the Social Metwork on his experience as an early career researcher:

Ensuring I have a thorough understanding of the peer review process enables me to defend and explain the scientific process to the public.

Read the write up for Taylor & Francis and the Social Metwork, a blog by University of Reading meteorology PhD students. (2 June 2017)

James Whiting

Science and the media, James shares the advice for young researchers from our media workshop at the University of Manchester:

The workshop was informative and valuable and I’d recommend taking a look, getting involved and taking advantage of what Voice of Young Science has to offer.

Read James’ account of the workshop and check out the rest of his blog. (10 April 2017)

Jade Pickering

Jade was at our Standing up for Science workshop in April. Take a look at what she took from the day:

We believe that there are people with more expertise than us. However, a PhD is such a niche topic of research that we dedicate a substantial portion of our lives to, and whilst we’re doing that research we are, in actual fact, probably the world leading expert on that topic (thanks to Sofie, director of Sense about Science EU, for highlighting that point). We are perfectly qualified to provide our expert voice, and we shouldn’t forget that.

Jade talks about the workshop and “general musings on PhD life” on her blog. (7 April 2017)

Clara Calia

An early career researcher’s take-home tips on peer review, from research assistant Dr Clara Calia:

Everybody who is starting out in research or is simply interested in science should have the opportunity to participate in this kind of discussion!

Clara writes for Elsevier on our November peer review workshop. (20 February 2017)

Connor Bamford and Joanna Crispell

Connor and Joanna talk about the practical tips of working with the media that they took from our Standing up for Science workshop in Glasgow:

We would recommend it to every scientist, especially those at an early stage in their career.

Connor and Joanna write for the University of Glasgow-MRC Centre for Virus Research. (19 February 2017)

Dugald Foster

Dugald came to our peer review workshop in Glasgow, writing about the event and his take-home messages:

Even scientifically trained minds are not completely free from unscientific thinking and bias, and recognising this will ensure that peer review develops into a positive and effective tool.

Read Dugald’s blog for F1000. (18 January 2017)

Taylor & Francis

Taylor & Francis Author Services spoke to early career researchers at our Standing up for Science workshop. They captured responses from some of the early career researchers who attended:

“I was really interested in a comment made by the panel about keeping in mind two or three points you want to make when being interviewed. When I spoke on the radio I had perhaps 45 seconds of airtime and trying to get across four years of research in that timeframe was a challenge! I was also interested to hear from the journalist panel and how they are keen for researchers to come to them rather than the other way, that was definitely encouraging.” – Stephanie Wright

Read more comments from VoYS members about their experiences with the media and what they took from the event. (9 December 2016)

Hilary J Anderson

Hilary is a PhD student at the University of Glasgow and attended our Glasgow media workshop:

It has been my experience that journalists are portrayed as only interested in making headlines rather than to invest in your work. However, after this panel discussion, thankfully my attitude has been changed!

Read Hilary’s blog on the Centre for Cell Engineering website. (5 December 2016)

Dr Federica Giordani

Federica is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Glasgow and attended our Glasgow peer review workshop. She writes for the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology on the good and bad of the peer review system:

Peer review is the process by which the contribution of a piece of research is assessed by independent experts in the field before being published in an academic journal. It is a practice of quality-control that aims to make sure that only the most rigorous research is published.

Read Federica’s article: Behind the research: What is the peer review system? (15 November 2016)

Kate Elliott

Kate, British Institute of Radiology (BIR) member attended our London media workshop:

I often get annoyed at the coverage of science in the media and the misuse of statistics and results. Recently, the Brexit “debate” has left me ranting at friends, and I often find myself defending junior doctors on social media. When I received the email from BIR advertising the media workshop, it struck me as an opportunity to learn what I could do to positively influence the public perception of science, and to hear first-hand from journalists about their involvement.

Read Kate’s BIR blog about attending our Standing up for Science workshop. (2 Nov 2016)

Olivia Varsaneux

Olivia, visiting Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine writes about how science communication can save lives:

As an epidemiologist, the way I communicate with communities impacts my ability to assess risk, understand trends and set up control measures. These skills are integral to my personal development and to public safety. After witnessing the societal impact of misinformation during the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa firsthand, I quickly recognized the necessity to develop these skills further. Therefore, when I heard the charity Sense about Science was running a Standing up for Science media workshop, I didn’t hesitate to get involved, and went along to learn techniques to address scientific misconceptions and better communicate evidence to a wider audience.

Read Olivia’s article in Elsevier on why science communication matters. (13 October 2016)

Haafizah Hoosen

Haafizah, Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) member writes about challenging bad science in them media:

So, here’s a question… What do you do when you see science based headlines in the news? Do you accept the story because it’s filled with facts and figured? Do you totally disregard it because no doubt it’s been sensationalised? Or are you somewhere in the middle of that spectrum? Can you spot bad science – what do you do about it?

Read Haafizah’s blog about attending our Standing up for Science media workshop. (1 July 2016)