Sophie Okolo, MPH, is the founder and chief editor of Global Health Aging, a web-based publication covering the research and news dedicated to “exploring the implications of longer, healthier lives.” Sophie is a science writer and researcher with a bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics and a master’s degree in public health. She is passionate about creating a better quality of life for older adults through increasing access to preventive care and building public awareness of older adults’ perception and treatment. Her writing has appeared in Forbes, PBS Next Avenue, Massive Science, Philips, IEEE Potentials, and others. An advocate for STEM inclusion, Sophie supports various causes that improve women and minority representation. She is a TEDMED 2020 Research Scholar, and currently serves as an advisor for humanKINDER – a company that shines a light on untold stories, ideas, and solutions for systems change. You can follow Sophie on Twitter or Instagram.
I was featured by the #uniquescientist team for the women in STEM week. Unique scientist is a project that aims at showcasing diversity in the STEM fields.
1. You don’t have to be born with a first class ticket to become a scientist,
2. Women can be both physically and intellectually attractive and do science,
3. Let’s redefine the idea of success in academia.
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.
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!
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. 
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
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.
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.
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.
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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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.
Continue reading “Heidi Gardner – from PhD to independent business owner.”
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.
Continue reading “Daniel DiRocco – from PhD to senior scientist at Merk (MSD).”