Category Archives: Notice Board

Microbial Musing

Have you ever wondered what makes Michele Banks tick? Nature Microbiology did. So, they asked her. You can read their interview with Michele here and gaze upon her lovely artwork for their homepage here.

Nature Microbiology: When did you first become exposed to scientific images?

Michele Banks: I started doing watercolours about 15 years ago. I was mainly working in pure abstraction, just playing with colour and with the properties of the paint. One of the things I love to do is wet-in-wet technique, which gives a ‘bleeding’ effect. I showed some of my wet-in-wet work at the Children’s National Medical Center here in Washington DC about 10 years ago, and they told me they liked my work because it looked like things under a microscope.

We hope the interest in the overlap of science and art will be a theme that continues throughout future Nature Microbiology issues – also open access, gender balance in publishing, shying away from bogus impact factors. etc. etc…

Support Your Local Podcaster

There are those groups where you keep wondering why they let you in. I’m not talking about impostor syndrome (I went to graduate school – I know that of which I speak), but the kind of group where you are pretty sure folks know exactly who/what you are and they let you stick around anyway. Maybe it was an older sibling letting you tag along when you were younger. Maybe it was a pick-up basketball team that doesn’t care about your lousy jump shot. Maybe it is your life partner.

If we exclude my partner (what was she thinking?), my “that group” is Science for the People*. Starting in 2010, I gradually migrated from fan, to brief guest, to occasional source of information, to official team member. I still maintain that I have the easiest job on the crew.

That is why I’m so pleased that we have launched the Science for the People Patreon CampaignScience for the People has been a labor of love by the entire team for years. The Patreon Campaign is designed to make it possible for those that labor the hardest on producing Science for the People can keep producing the best science podcast** you can find.

*Here, I am in the position to make people put up with me, the poor bastards.
**Conflict of interest disclosure.


For the past year and a half, Lou Woodley and I have been running MySciCareer, a website with first person science career stories. It’s not just jobs in research and it’s not just jobs outside of research – it’s both. MSCQuote_JenniferGardy

If you just watch the images on the front page for a while (or look at the ones in this post), you’ll see a lot of very different jobs and people come by. Researchers, writers, teachers, politicians, startup founders. The only thing they have in common is that they have been trained as a scientist at some point in their lives.


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Dr. Twitter

EvaCameraOur travel guru, Eva Amsen, was recently interviewed by Times Higher Education about using Twitter and other social media productively as an academic in her role as outreach coordinator for F1000. The article includes a handy list of reasons you should be on social media in case your superiors question the number of tweets you posted last month.

Science for The People: Science & the Death Penalty

sftpThis week, Science for The People looks at the science of the ultimate criminal punishment. Pharmacologist and science writer David Kroll discusses the chemistry of the drugs used in lethal injections. They talk to law professor Samuel Gross, editor of the National Registry of Exonerations, about the rates of false convictions in death penalty cases. And they speak to Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist Dr. James Harris about the complex issues at the intersection of capital punishment and intellectual disability.