The research community like you have never heard it before.

 

Join us, The Scientistt Podcast, along with a host of special guests, as we explore the realities of research life in the most honest and informative way possible. Delving deeper into the industry’s latest research papers and most pressing questions, and sharing the unique perspectives of some of the community’s leading figures.

This is a podcast by researchers, for researchers. New episodes every Wednesday.

 

Episode 24: 

Dr Zoë Ayres - Striving for Change

In the last 18 months, Dr Zoë Ayres has become a leading voice in battle to bring mental issues to the surface of academia. The coveted '#100Voices Project', numerous awareness infographics and most recently the launch of new organisation 'Voices of Academia' - have seen Zoë's Twitter following skyrocket to over 16,000. 

But it's not about fame, or recognition for that matter. In this conversation we find out exactly why a Senior Scientist working in industry, would spend so much time advocating for the mental health standards of PhD students and academics. What issues are being tackled? Why is it such a big problem? What can you do to help?

See what Zoë tweets about here: https://twitter.com/ZJAyres

 
Episode 23: Jennifer Polk - From PhD to Life

We could all do with a personal coach sometimes, right? 

Jennifer Polk, PhD, is a career coach and expert on PhD careers. After earning a PhD in history from the University of Toronto, she launched From PhD to Life, a career coaching and speaking business. Jen writes (and speaks!) on graduate education and careers for doctoral-degree holders, on both her popular website and Twitter handle, @FromPhDtoLife. She is also a guest speaker on university campuses and at academic and professional conferences throughout North America and beyond. In this conversation, we delve deeper in to Jennifer's own story and find out what motivates her to be the inspirational figure that she is today for students around he world. 

Episode 22: Engineering the Future of Genetic Medicine

Who said academics can't be entrepreneurs? 

Benjamin L. Oakes is the Founder and CEO of Scribe Therapeutics, a company rewriting the story of disease and engineering the future of genetic medicine. Completing his PhD at University of California, Berkley in 2017 - Oakes worked under the supervision of Jennifer A. Doudna, a 2020 Nobel prize winner. In this podcast, we explore Oakes' career path & and the practical application of his research to make huge advancements in the field. 

Episode 21: The Mystery of Space Exploration

We all have a fascination with space, right? I mean, how can't you be somewhat interested in the concepts of planets, space craft and fields of "dark energy". 

Dr. Bruce Betts is a planetary scientist and children's book author who loves teaching people about planets in fun and entertaining ways. As a science communicator and educator,  he is the Chief Scientist and LightSail Program Manager for the world’s largest space interest group, The Planetary Society. If this wasn't enough, Dr. Betts has a popular Twitter account with over 44,000 followers, as well as hosting a thriving series of entertaining "Random Space Fact" videos & has previous experience working at NASA. 

Find out more about Bruce here: www.randomspacefact.com/home 

Episode 20: Jonathan Eisen - The James Bond of Microbiology

 "After my PhD, my first ever grant was actually for homeland security..." So, what does a Professor in the Genome Center of UC Davis , have to do with investigating threats to the safety of the US population?

When we started our conversation with Dr Jonathan Eisen (elected to the American Academy of Microbiology in 2012), we could not of predicted what was in store! A lively character, Dr Eisen balances his research with being an award-winning blogger and Twitter influencer, boasting an online following of over 60,000 people on that platform alone. Since earning his PhD in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, we pick up on Dr Eisen's career journey & explore the highlights of his illustrious research portfolio. 

 

Episode 19: Fay Lin - Systemic Issues in Academia

"Calling out systemic issues in #academia does NOT mean I don't support the pursuit of research.  Calling out systemic issues in #academia means I think research is wonderful and I want the environment to improve." - Fay Lin 

On this episode, our guest's involvement in academia goes far beyond her PhD research. Fay Lin is a strong advocate for equality, diversity and mental health - raising awareness for the systemic issues in academia through a Twitter page that is growing in popularity. In our conversation, we look to delve deeper in to this issues & find out more about the fantastic individual behind the scenes. 

Find Fay on Twitter: https://twitter.com/xiaofei_lin 

 

Episode 18: Jen Heemstra - A Woman in Chemistry

This is Part 2 of our conversation with Dr Jen Heemstra! 

In this episode, we discuss equality in the sciences, medical ethics, and the potential upsides of adversity. We also cover the need for breaks in academia and even chat rock-climbing! Female, scientist, professor, and now supervisor - Jen leads the way as a woman in her field. But, it wasn't easy to get there. 

 

Episode 17: Jen Heemstra - How to be a PI (Part 1)

What should a leader look like in academia? 

Jen Heemstra, as the name alludes, is the lead supervisor at the Heemstra Lab and Associate Professor at Emory University. 

In this episode, Jen offers her unique insights into a range of subjects that often go unspoken in academic circles;  failure, imposter syndrome and why tenure changes things for a professor. Jen covers everything from the exciting implications of DNA modification to the mindset required for idea generation, and we delve deeper in to the landmarks of her remarkable career. 

You can read Jen's fabulous blog here: http://thingsthatchangethewayithink.blogspot.com/

 

Episode 16: Dr. Eric Topol - The Future of Medicine

What does one of the world's most respected researchers think the future holds for medicine?

Eric Topol is a doctor, scientist and author. Being  one of the most heavily cited scientists on the planet, he has received over 250,000 citations and produced close to 1,200 publications. If that wasn't enough, he is the Executive Vice-President of Scripps Research, and Founder of the Scripps Translational Research Institute. On this episode, we discuss Covid-19, the potential future role of AI in medicine and the ongoing process of democratising healthcare. Enjoy! 

Follow Eric: https://twitter.com/EricTopol

Find out more about Scripps: https://www.scripps.edu/science-and-medicine/translational-institute/

 

Episode 15:Who is Susanna Harris?

 "Building communities through communication". That's the motto that has seen Susanna Harris' research career grow far beyond microbiology.

 A science communication expert and mental health advocate, Susanna's popularity as a keynote speaker and academic personality has seen her develop over 60,000 followers on Twitter. If that wasn't enough, she is the founder of PhD Balance, a supportive space for students and researchers, providing training and resources to better academic mental health. 

In this episode, we find out Who is Susanna Harris? From early career ambitions, growing business interests and the harsh reality of mental health in academia, we delve deeper in to Susanna's life and areas of expertise. 

Find out more about Susanna here: https://susannalharris.com/ 

 

Episode 14: The Hurricane Hunter

What is it like to fly in to the eye of the storm? 

Nick Underwood is an aerospace engineer and NOAA Hurricane Hunter, providing mission-ready aircraft and professional crews to the scientific community.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Aircraft Operations Center provides a wide range of specialised airborne environmental data collection capabilities vital to understanding the Earth, conserving and managing coastal and marine resources, and protecting lives and property.

In this podcast we gain a truly unique insight in to a career that goes largely under the radar, exploring the realities of the working environment and future ambitions for those that take to the skies on a regular basis. 

 

Episode 13: Joachim Frank - A Nobel Prize for Chemistry

 A Nobel Prize. Some would say it represents the pinnacle of scientific achievement in any given field. In this episode, we're lucky enough to be joined by Joachim Frank, one of a very small number of scientists that can say they have won the prestigious award.

Joachim was born and educated in Germany, before completing postdoctoral research in the United States and at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, U.K., where he worked on problems of electron optics and image processing. His current position at Columbia University as a Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Biological Sciences, is one that he has held since 2008.

In 2017, Joachim recieved the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, alongside his colleagues Jacques Dubochet and Richard Henderson, for the development of cryo-electron microscopy, which both simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules. This method moved biochemistry into a new era.

 

Episode 12: Culture and PhD in Pakistan

Ever wondered if academia is the same around the world? Are the experiences, influences and motivations of all PhD candidates the same, regardless of background or culture? We certainly wanted to delve deeper here. 

Zarrar Salahuddin is a PhD candidate at the National University of Science and Technology in Pakistan, as well as an active daily blogger with over 700 entries to his name, and a thriving Twitter account with over 10,000 followers. As well as a scientist, Zarrar is a religious man. It is renowned that these two forces often come in to conflict, many suggesting they are simply incompatible, however Zarrar has a unique take on his spirituality. 

 

Episode 11: The Secrets to Success on Academic Twitter

How do you gain 20,000 followers in less than 1 year? That's the question that many people have for Stefanie, founder of Career Conversation, a Twitter handle and Youtube channel that has skyrocketed to success since its creation. 

Now, Stefanie is sharing her secrets (or strategies...) online, allowing others to learn from her own experiences and get a head start in the world of academic Twitter. 

Follow Career Conversation: https://twitter.com/careerconversa1

 

Episode 10: Wendy Ingram - Cultivating Change in Academia

When Wendy lost someone close to her as a result of suicide, she chose to do something about. 

Academia. It has it's problems. Wendy Ingram, the Executive Director of Dragonfly Mental Health, is working to create change in one of the most prevalent areas of current discussion; poor mental health. A molecular and cell biologist by training, she now posts videos, presentations, and workshops online, in order to help raise awareness and cultivate better mental health amongst academics worldwide. 

You can follow Wendy here: https://twitter.com/pyromanticism

 

Episode 9: Darwin Guevarra - Placebos without Deception

How many times do you see a newly published article in a popular journal, and not quite fully understand it? It would be great to learn directly from the author wouldn't it? Today we're joined by Darwin Guevarra, a postdoc at Michigan State University studying emotion regulation. We find out more about his recent paper in Nature Communications, which found that placebos without deception reduce self-report and neural measures of emotional distress, and what the consequences of this critical research may be for the medical world. 

Read the full paper here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-17654-y.epdf?sharing_token=-ED4bKmbW-ULyh6GyML0wNRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0MDikbR0MXIbBA-QB-2Ina5BLi2nTjpV1TcRojtpGUamNJ7_6vY-MEW6zFQr7ribQRXWvn7WQSVqKWuZW47t-QGTfkUfjm4PYD8L3rJcuJw63dwW65r7M2Aauxh5yL-vqk%3D

Follow Darwin: https://twitter.com/GuevarraDarwin

 

Episode 8:Who is PhD Diaries?

Imagine turning your Twitter account that was created to complain about WiFi signal at a conference, in to a thriving community of over 43,000 people. Today we're joined by somebody that has done just that, all whilst keeping their personal identity anonymous. 

PhD Diaries, or @thoughtsofaphd, documents the realities of a life in academia through her relatable, honest and humorous tweets. In this podcast we delve deeper in to the person behind the account, why it was created, what it has become, and the successes and struggles associated with having a huge following. 

Follow our guest here: https://twitter.com/thoughtsofaphd

 

Episode 7: Sam Tromans - Autism in Psychiatric Facilities

When his brother was diagnosed with autism, Sam was inspired to further understand the relationship autistic people have with the world around them. A qualified doctor, he now combines his psychiatric work with his PhD studies; investigating the prevalence of adult autism in psychiatric facilities. In this podcast, we delve deeper in to Sam's important research, the motivations behind his work and his thoughts on the mental health issues that autistic people face living in a society that is geared towards the needs of the non-autistic population. 

To find out more about Sam, check out his Twitter at: https://twitter.com/SamuelJTromans

 

Episode 6: Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Scientists

What's it like to be a woman in science? We're joined by Beth Eyre and Sofia Bariami, PhD students from Sheffield and Edinburgh universities. Despite having vastly different research topics, both Beth and Sofia have many things in common, notably their positions as Scientistt ambassadors, their identity as women and dealing with the effects of Covid-19 on their work. This podcast aims to delve deeper in to the specifics of their research, and find out what struggles and ambitions have been born out of their journey through academia. 

Check out both of their profiles at: https://scientistt.net/pages/ambassadors 

 

Episode 5: Arnesa Buljušmić-Kustura - From Refugee to Researcher

Arnesa Buljušmić-Kustura is an analyst, researcher and is the international operations manager for Remembering Srbencia UK. But life hasn't always been easy. Arnesa's analysis of the Bosnian War, genocide, fascism and Islamophobia, are fuelled by her first-hand experiences during the conflict. Experiencing life as a refugee, to now holding post as a lecturer and published author - her story is a hugely interesting one.

Episode 4: Alexander Thom - Metal Organic Frameworks and PhD Life

What is it like to be a PhD Student? Alexander (Ali) Thom is a 3rd year chemistry PhD student at the University of Glasgow, researching novel methods to alter the surface chemistry of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for biomedical applications. As well as discussing life in the lab and his journey to becoming a Scientistt ambassador, Ali reflects on being the president of the University of Glasgow chemical society (aka Alchemists’ club), volunteering with Glasgow City Mission, and being an avid rugby fan - proof that your research does not have to define who you are! 

Find Ali here: https://scientistt.net/pages/ambassadors

 

Episode 3: Lucy Nichol - Tackling the Stigma of Mental Health

Mental health is becoming an increasingly poignant issue in academia. Studies completed in the last few years have published rather worrying statistics about the mental wellbeing of students and researchers, posing questions about what can be done to support them. Much of this starts with tackling the stigma. We're joined by Lucy Nichol, a writer and blogger that has used her own experiences with mental health to reach out and support others, as well as raising general awareness for the topic. In this podcast, Lucy talks about the variety and specific nature of generalised anxiety disorders, how they often start, are viewed, and what steps we can take to bettering our understanding of such issues. 

Find Lucy on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LucyENichol

 

Episode 2: Oliver Bracko - Using crowd-source science to study Alzheimer's disease.

A researcher at Cornell University, Oliver's newest publication uses multiphoton imaging to explore the role of brain blood flow reductions and capillary stalling in a mouse model of Alzheimer, fed a western high fat diet. Here we discuss his research in more detail, with particular attention to his crowd-sourcing methods, as well as the wider landscape of Alzheimer's research and advice for those looking for a way in to the industry. 

You can view Oliver's full publication here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-65908-y

 

Episode 1: Janine Francois - Diversity and Racism in Academia
 
Diversity is a topic that has been thrust to the forefront of academia. Social media is littered with case-studies of institutional racism and a general recognition that BAME students are underrepresented in the research environment. We're joined by Janine Francois, lecturer at Central Saint Martins, to explore problems with the traditional academic system, ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, and the issue of race in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Janine Francois: itsjaninebtw.com/