Posts in Science Advocacy

The Vanderbilt MSTP hosts the largest mini MSTP event to date!

Krystian Kozek (G3), Gabby DiCarlo (G2), and Lindsay Klofas (G1)
May 19, 2017
Posted in Science Advocacy

This May, the MSTP hosted 160 students from twelve schools throughout Middle Tennessee for a one-day introduction to the Medical Scientist Training Program, known as the Mini-MSTP. Thanks to our 25 student volunteers, these visiting 5th- and 6th-grade students spent their day at Vanderbilt learning about science, medicine, and what it means to be a physician-scientist. 

Op-Ed: A March for Truth, Reason, and Hope

Eileen Shiuan (G2)
May 8, 2017
Posted in Science Advocacy

“SCIENCE NOT SILENCE” “Let us pause for a moment in science” – Some powerful, some quirky, and some punny slogans like these popped up and filled the streets in more than 600 cities around the world on April 22nd.  Scientists and supporters of science stood united on this day, Earth Day, to defend the critical role of science in shaping policy and society. Among the thousands who braved the torrential rains and thunderstorms to march in Nashville were Vanderbilt MSTP and graduate students, as well as faculty.

The Three Minute Thesis®: Students present their Ph.D. work in the same length of time it takes to read this article

By Krystian Kozek (G3) and MariaSanta Mangione (G3)
April 25, 2017

On March 31, 2017, five Vanderbilt MSTP graduate-phase students participated in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) competition. Melissa Bloodworth (G4), Daniel Kashima (G4), Shan Parikh (G4), Krystian Kozek (G3), and MariaSanta Mangione (G3) all elected to condense years of Ph.D. work into less than 180 seconds of oral presentation with one static slide to a non-specialist audience. Their work was judged on the criteria of (1) comprehension, (2) engagement, and (3) communication style against 50 other competitors across many Ph.D. disciplines.

Tennessee Medical Students offer Five ACA Replacement Tenets

March 30, 2017

Maggie Axelrod (M2), Michael Raddatz (M2), and several other Vanderbilt and Meharry medical students co-authored a petition signed by over 300 medical students from all five medical schools in Tennessee, articulating the concerns many medical students share regarding a possible repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. The petition was published in the Tennessean.

The Academic #Twitter

Jennifer Watchmaker (G3)
February 27, 2017

Jennifer Watchmaker (@jennwatch) is a third year graduate student interested in pursuing a career in radiology. She began her academic twitter account in 2014 and now has over 350 followers and growing.  Her social media presence on twitter has helped her connect with other investigators and clinicians, find out about the most recent research, and also has been a means by which to win neat things at conferences. In this infographic, Jennifer explains some Do's and Don'ts of an academic twitter account.

Op-Ed: The Power of Science Communication

Ben Fensterheim (G3)
December 19, 2016
Posted in Science Advocacy

For news journalists, failure to communicate effectively is a failure of the news. So, the same is true about the journalists of the natural world: scientists. However, scientific communication is rarely taught during Ph.D. training. Students may learn to communicate in a niche scientific field, but if they are unable to communicate effectively to broader audiences their work will suffer. Alas, like many aspects of Ph.D. training, learning effective science communication is largely left up to the students themselves.

Science Policy and Advocacy – A Trip to Capitol Hill

In October, I attended a two-day workshop on federal STEM policy and advocacy in Washington, D.C., an incredibly eye-opening experience organized annually by Vanderbilt University’s Office of Federal Relations. My motivation to apply for this workshop was fueled primarily by my (for lack of a better word) ignorance of how science policy is influenced through advocacy by various stakeholders and how it’s ultimately created and implemented at the federal level.

Op-Ed: New Paradigms in Scientific Publishing

Posted in Science Advocacy

My bench is filled with stacks of lab notebooks, but only a few pages will ever see the light of day.  Find any other lab and any other scientist and it’s the same story—countless experiments performed, only a fraction of which are shared.  But is there value hidden in these pages and if so, why doesn’t more of our research output come into the public sphere?