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The week that it was – 23rd to 30th April, 2017

in ClubSciWri by
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The week in the scientific community has been hugely highlighted with plans and meetings around ensuring that the March for Science momentum doesn’t fizzle out. And communication of unaltered facts has clearly gathered a lot of attention and has been rightly prioritized. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales launches Wikitribune to provide ‘correct facts’. University of Split, Croatia and Rita Allen Foundation with WGBH could not have been better in timing the announcement of their Summer School in Science Communication and fellowship in science communication, respectively. Plos Pathogens has started a new series – Research Matters – for researchers to write how their fundamental research matters. NASA goes public with its 104,000 pictures, videos and audio files. The European Research Council is actively gathering data from researchers in Europe as well as outside to know how to get the community more engaged in publishing in open access journals. Mozilla has offered paid fellowships for 10 months to train those with ideas in open access science and help them materialize their ideas. Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has joined hands with BioArxiv (the open access repository for life science research from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory). On a local scale, initiatives like Pint of Science and Pune drunk on Science (details available on Facebook, at the moment) are gaining popularity. After all, open access to science is going to be beneficial to all – lay public to entrepreneurs and industrialists.

Another benefit of having science in open repositories will also help in better peer review. The current way of evaluating research is killing the risk appetite among researchers, limiting scientific progress. It becomes imperative to discuss this now as Springer decided to retract 107 of its papers from Tumor Biology for being published with ‘fake reviews’. On the other hand, the field of oncology is also going through one of its most exciting times – Nanoparticle vaccine for immunotherapy, to target multiple types of cancers, developed by researchers at UT Southwestern, is the talk of the town now. And for novices in this area, you can’t miss the overview of the exciting and inspiring development of this field, from Allison and Sharma‘s eyes, the successful couple of the field.

Potentially entrepreneurial ideas are regularly being churned out of IITs, with IIT Madras this time, developing a hand glove to study the hand kinematics – a promise to help detecting the severity of Parkinson’s disease, and also translate the hand movements into speech. An MIT graduate student- an MIT – Tata fellow – is working in Mumbai towards developing ready to use therapeutic food to fight malnutrition in India. WHO is ready to start clinical trials for its malaria vaccine in three African countries. It might now be possible to think of growing premature human fetuses, of 23 weeks and above, outside wombs. If you are buzzing with an idea that can be translated, it might interest you to know that Millipore Sigma has joined hands with LabCentral, a nonprofit startup incubator in Massachusetts.

Despite these, hardships of traditional academicians haven’t changed much yet, with the indecisiveness of a postdoctoral tenure and the heavily unfavorable ratio of academic positions available with the number of applicants for tenure track. The first draft of Trump’s budget for this fiscal year is out, with sizable cuts in biomedical funding. The proposal claims that better planning will ensure achievements aren’t compromised. It has been a year since Germany announced plans to introduce 1000 tenure track positions in academia. University of Göttingen is trying to set an example by inviting suggestions from the current postdoctoral fellows in penning the proposal.

And finally let’s talk of the jobs available around –

  • Immunologists, take note of scientist positions at Biogen, Antibody Discovery, MA, NIBR Biologics Centre, MA, and multiple positions open at CSIR-IMTECH, Chandigarh in areas of therapeutic R&D and drug discovery
  • Electrophysiology experts might want to check the scientist position, at Synapses and Circuits, Roche, Basel, Switzerland
  • Check the exciting scope of ‘designing your own role’ at Chan Zuckerberg Biohub
  • In this age of CROs, know what are the skills that are sought for in a Clinical investigator, and see if the position of Clinical Trial Manager at Celgene suits you.
  • For those interested in advancing and revamping science education, check this interesting postdoctoral fellowship at Yale-NUS College, Singapore
  • Those interested in exploring industrial collaborations while being in academia, take a look at calls from Boehringer Ingelheim for research proposals around GPR68, and an industrial postdoctoral position at Biogen, MA to study neurodegeneration
  • Interested in working on RNA mediated gene regulation? Check the Research Associate position at Cambridge, UK
  • For the non-biologists wanting to transition into biomedicine, Francis Crick Institute is looking for group leader positions in physical sciences
  • For the psychologists among us, there is a lecturer position open at University of Reading, UK
  • For those imaging lovers with commendable interpersonal skills, see if the Microscopy Specialist position at PicoQuant, Berlin, Germany interests you
  • Those without a PhD and wanting to explore industry might want to consider the Scientific Assistant position at the Biorefinery department, Luxembourg Institute of Health

And if you are confused among what to choose from, do consider the possibilities of having multiple careers at once – there are many now who can vouch for its merits.

Nevertheless know the essentials of effective networking from the uber successful in the industry – Chris Fralic talks of his networking stories in the pre-LinkedIn era. And today with technology helping you in your pursuit, you really don’t have to wait for an opportunity to open up to express your will to work with someone – just cold email, the right way though. But at the same time, it has also become more common to have not-in-person interviews. Know how to ensure you make the best impressions on the telecommunication based interviews.

And when this gets too daunting and overwhelming, make sure you are getting enough of that sun. With the regular CSG meets happening all around, here is an interesting outdoorsy and nerdy enough an idea that you might want to consider. Happy May coming soon – we will ensure that you use the summer cheer to the fullest to grow personally and professionally!

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project co ordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.

 

 

Gabriele Fallopio & The Human Anatomy

in Theory of Creativity by

 

This series highlights dead ol’ scientists, who went against the grain and started something cool. Most of them faced opposition to their ideas and beliefs, but they made some fundamental discoveries.

 

Illustrations by Leslee Lazaar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a neuroscientist, who is passionate about communicating science using visual art. I use illustrations, graphic design, infographics, collages and photography to condense complex scientific concepts into stylish and attractive visuals.

I have a PhD in Neuroscience from National Brain Research Centre (India) and post-doctoral research experience from Harvard Medical School (Boston, USA).

Apart from contributing content to many science blogs and magazines. I have authored a science book  for young adults called “The Five Senses”

Buy it here –  http://www.amazon.in/Five-Senses-Reference-Guide/dp/8184770340

You can reach me at leslee.lazar@gmail.com

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