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science, books, video, science communication, science outreach
science, books, video, science communication, science outreach

SciLingual's posts

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Off the beaten (tenure) track - +Brent Neal  #leavingacademia   #postac

Brent Neal's interview is full of insight, but I've put my favorite quote below. I wholeheartedly agree that we need to better equip all students with skills to be successful in whatever career they choose.

What skills did you not learn from academia that you needed? Are these things that we could teach in academics to help people who leave?  

What’s more important than helping people develop skills for leaving academia is helping people learn skills that make them more effective no matter what they do and helping people figure out what career options are available to them at every stage of their schooling so that they can make good decisions with as many of the facts at hand as possible.

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Off the beaten (tenure) track - +Ethan Perlstein #leavingacademia  

What skills did you not learn from academia that you needed? Are these things that we could teach in academics to help people who leave?
I never understood the concept of a deliverable in Academia. If you had asked me several years ago I might have said it was a package from FedEx. And the academic life could be quite solitary at times, especially as an independent fellow stuck between conventional career rungs. I used to think that was a virtue because it afforded me the space to explore lofty, untested ideas, but the downside was professional isolation.


If you haven't done so already, please take a listen to this recent NPR profile of +Ethan Perlstein. It takes a look at the growing trend of crowdfunding science research and the project that Ethan got successfully funded. Plus, learning about a scientist's motivation is always touching.

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Off the beaten (tenure) track - +Mark Hahnel 

Entrepreneur, business owner, open science advocate, it's +Mark Hahnel, founder of

*How did you decide to do what you are doing now? What was your career path? *
This all kind of happened by accident. I had a problem with academia and I tried to fix it for myself. It then appeared that it wasn’t just a problem for me and other academics could benefit from the tool I had built. I had previously completed and undergrad in Genetics and an MSc in human genetics. For each of my dissertations, I focused on stem cells as it was always the area that fascinated me the most. I still follow the literature and would love to work in the space again one day.

Having moved into a space that covers academia as a whole, I have had to brush up on my knowledge of the humanities and other areas that need some field specific knowledge. We recently set up a figshare advisor group to help in specific fields.

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Off the beaten (tenure) track - +Catherine Pratt aka Katie PhD

In addition to being a scientist, savvy social media user/consumer, Katie is also a talented artist. Sitting next to Katie during +ScienceOnline 2013 , I could not help but be amazed by her ability to capture the important parts of sessions with her doodles. You can check them out yourself on her Flickr page:

What skills did you not learn from academia that you needed? Are these things that we could teach in academics to help people who leave?

Critically, I need to write about science for a lay audience. But I don’t think that’s necessarily a skill that everyone needs in order to leave academia. I also use the social networking, website editing, and other computer-based skills that I picked up while blogging. One thing that I do think everyone could benefit from is the ability to network effectively. This doesn’t just mean making a LinkedIn profile. I definitely found using Twitter incredibly useful, and I hear a lot of academics talking about it in a rather derogatory fashion. But that’s because they’re not using it to it’s fullest potential. And saying “yes” to outreach opportunities, talking to people outside of your discipline or institution, and making personal connections, are all really important. Your resume will only get you so far.

Hangout Postponed!

The scheduled hangout with +Jessica Wright will be rescheduled for a future date! We'll announce the new date and time once it has been decided.

Thanks for your patience.

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Off the beaten (tenure) track Hangout #1 - +Jeanne Garbarino 

The first (of hopefully many!) Off the beaten (tenure) track Hangouts!

Many thanks to +Jeanne Garbarino for taking the time to talk about her career trajectory and all of the awesome things that she is involved in. 

Links discussed in the Hangout:

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Off the beaten (tenure) track - +Stephen Granade

I don't know what it is about +ScienceOnline that attracts so many multi-talented people. +Stephen Granade is another example of one of these multi-faceted, fascinating folks.

Among many other things he is a physicist, science communicator, actor, and Podcast host.

If you're not familiar with Stephen's work on Disasterpiece Theatre, you can check out his favorite episode here:

Thanks +Stephen Granade for participating!

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Jerry Nguyen is hanging out with 1 person right now in a live Hangout On Air! #hangoutsonairJeanne Garbarino

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Have you read the interview with +Jeanne Garbarino yet?

Do you have questions? Curious about knowing more about her career path and her life outside of academia? Tune in on Friday, April 12! 

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Off the beaten (tenure) track - +Jeanne Garbarino

One of the first things I noticed during this fledgling experience in social media is that Jeanne Garbarino is EVERYWHERE. She is active in the science outreach community in ways that I can only aspire to. She currently contributes to Double X Science, frequently tweets about science, co-founded and runs the SpotOn NYC group, recently has started The Incubator blog and is part of the Neurodome Kickstarter! I am honored that she was able to take time out of her schedule to participate in this interview series. Please read about how Jeanne got to be where she is now!

Do you remember when you chose to leave the academic track? What led you to this decision?

Well, this is a loaded question!  When I was in grad school, the ultimate goal was to get some combination of a CNS (Cell, Nature, Science) paper.  This would set me up with enough science street cred to get an academic tenure track position in my hometown of NYC.  That didn’t happen, but I kept my sights on a CNS, hopefully to be obtained in my postdoc.  After about a year in, it became crystal clear that academia, in the traditional sense, was not a real possibility for me.  That’s when I realized that I had to leave the academic tenure track (TT).  That is also the time when I began to panic.
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