PoC in STEM – Ebony in the Ivory Tower

The American Society of Human Genetics states that any attempt to use genetics as scientific evidence to set differences between races shows a profound misunderstanding of this discipline. So, how come James Watson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Genetics? This person affirmed that he was inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa because all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – where all the testing says not really! Probably because Rosalind Franklin produced the crucial piece of evidence which allowed to sort out the structure of DNA and he took the merit for it? For this statement, he lost his job in 2007 and very recently he was stripped of several honorary titles by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, in New York, which he once headed.

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Faviola Dadis – scientist, model and entepreneur

One of the best decision I made halfway through my PhD is starting my Instagram page. By using appropriate hashtags such as #phdlife #gradlife #phdstudentsofinstagram #scicomm, I connected with a lot of incredible people who became my friends in everyday life too. None makes it through a PhD on their own, and if there is a piece of advice I can give to an early-stage PhD student is to find your community and no matter how you reach out to people, in social or virtual life. just do it! After two years of blogging, I’ve come to learn that social media doesn’t have to be an escape route from your life or substitute it, it’s complementary and, as it in my case, you can use them wisely to become more than your PhD!

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How is it like to be a disabled women in STEM – WomenHistoryMonth

According to the World Health Organisation, disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. This is quite a hard sentence to digest with loads of jargon and technicalities. So, let me be a bit more clear! Impairments refer to the dysfunction of one or more parts of your body and also includes malformations. Activity limitations refer to the inability to carry out normal daily activities. Participation restrictions include all the conditions that prevent people from living life to the fullest. Often, we recognise disabilities as physical disabilities, for example, a person in a wheelchair or missing a limb, deafness or blindness. But, actually, you might be surprised to know that people affected by cancer, diabetes, HIV and even mental illness are included in this umbrella term. [1]

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LGBT History Month: Celebrating Pride in STEM

The LGBT month was instituted to increasing visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (“LGBT”) people in every layer of society. It’s a celebration of their history, lives and experiences. The aim is to raise awareness and advance education on matters affecting the LGBT community creating safe spaces for all LGBTQ+ communities. One wanted to promote the welfare of LGBTQ+ people, by ensuring that the education system recognises and enables LGBT+ people to achieve their full potential, so they contribute fully to society and lead fulfilled lives, thus benefiting society as a whole”. Source lgbthistorymonth.org.uk

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From PhD to self-employed science editor: Isabel Torres

Isabel Torres got her PhD in biology at the University of Cambridge and a postdoc at the MRC Laboratories of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. She has four kids and had her first pregnancy while doing her PhD. After her postdoc, she decided to leave academia to make her own things. Her transition from academia to industry wasn’t easy but she made it a wonderful career anyway. She works as a self-employed science editor and freelance science writer. You can find Isabel on Instagram and Twitter. She just launched her blog prettysmartscience.com to support women and especially mamas in science, make science more accessible and address the problem of fake news.

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Polished Professionals: Teresa Ambrosio

Thanks to Paige from the cosmeticcomposition.com for featuring me as Polished Professional. I talked abot my selfcare routine and the products I use daily. Hope to break the stereotypes around femal scientists and fashion.

Cosmetic Composition

I am thrilled to be kicking off 2019’s first #PolishedProfessionals featuring Teresa Ambrosio, who you may know more from her killer SciComm Instagram account. Teresa frequently writes about women in STEM fields, her own research, and the importance of mental health for PhD students. Creator of the hashtag #featurethechemistry Teresa has been a huge influencer for bringing chemistry posts to a wider audience on social media. Read our interview below to learn more about how beauty plays a role in Teresa’s life.

Elevator Pitch

My name is Teresa, a fourth-year PhD student at the University of Nottingham. I do research in the field of catalysis, which means finding ways to speed up very slow chemical reactions.

For you, does beauty play a role in being a scientist? If yes, how?

I think it’s important for women to feel comfortable in their own skin. If this involves fancy clothing, make up…

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Heidi Gardner – from PhD to independent business owner.

One of the best skills of a scientist is definitely creativity.

The constant challenge of finding solutions to new and stimulating problems really drives you to get creative. Creativity shouldn’t stop to the lab bench in my opinion. All the skills we learn during grad school should be implemented in our personal and professional life too.

So, what about get creative and make actual money for it? Many grad students don’t have a permanent salary, have to teach or demonstrate to support themselves or ask a loan to the bank. I think there is a better way to make a little extra money while doing a PhD and this comes from monetising your hobbies.
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Daniel DiRocco – from PhD to senior scientist at Merk (MSD).

Did you enrol in a PhD programme to become a senior scientist in a big name company? If the answer is yes, you found the good place to be. I interview Daniel last month to know more about his journey and his transition from academia to industry. Daniel is is Principal Scientist in process chemistry at MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme), it’s his job to figure out the best reactions for making molecules on large scales so enough can be made for clinical trials or even for manufacturing on the metric-ton scale if a candidate compound is approved as a drug. “Everything he did turned to gold. His chemical intuition was impeccable, and he had the unique ability to extract exactly the information he needed out of every reaction that he ran without getting distracted or wasting any time,” says prof. Rovis, his PhD supervisor.
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Interview for Grad_SelfCare

1. Tell me about yourself. What do you do? 2. What is your journey to where you are today? How did you get here? I’m a 4th year PhD student in chemistry at the University of Nottingham. I’m originally from Italy and moved to the UK to start off my PhD programme. When I was in high school I was bullied by a group of jerks that made me feel like an idiot every day. My depression started back then when I was 15. I always thought very poorly about myself, but my family always encouraged me to do well in school. I felt my hometown at 19 and I moved to Rome to start uni. I felt like reborn and kind of blessed to start a new life. I wanted to prove to myself and everyone else that I wasn’t the loser people made me feel my entire life.

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Soph Cook: scientist – fashion blogger and social media influencer

Today, I decided to interview Soph Cook who is, by far, my fav fashion influencer. I recently bought literally everything that it’s on her Instagram page. I like Soph because she represents me as a woman in science and fashion blogger, much better than any Kim (fake) Kardashian. Soph has got a PhD in biochemistry and currently work as a medical writer. You can also find Soph on Twitter and subscribe to her website.

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