Sunday, November 14, 2021

Sense About Science

What an honour it was to take part in Sense About Science's 'Standing up for science' workshop. Please check out the link here at to read the post that appeared on the BPS website or keep reading to read below the post that I wrote about the workshop:

I have always been interested in how academics can effectively engage with the media and policymakers and I’m familiar with public engagement approaches from attending a workshop at the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

So, I was I excited to be selected to participate in Sense about Science’s ‘Standing up for Science’ workshop.

The workshop opened up new possibilities for me to communicate my research effectively to journalists and policymakers.

Communicating with journalists

The workshop opened with an interactive panel with Professor Hannah Cloke from the University of Reading; Lawrence McGinty, former Medical Editor at ITV News; and James Clarke, Head of Communications at Rothamsted Research.

We discussed why researchers should take responsibility for how evidence is used in society, helping us understand that our work doesn’t end with publication, but continues with clearly relaying the meaning and impact of our research to the public.

To do this, you can talk to your press office before your paper comes out, get in contact with local journalists and engage your audience in your science.

When talking to journalists, agree on the content that is to be published. This reduces the chances of being misrepresented or misquoted in the piece.

Overall, the message is simple: talk to everyone about what you do and be sure to adjust your language accordingly for you to create an effective partnership with the public and the media through your research.

Communicating with policymakers

Another highlight was a lively discussion with George Freeman MP; Lauren Milden, Policy Adviser at the Centre for Science and Policy; and Dr Jo Hale from University College London.

They shared with us how we can create impact by providing our research and expertise to Parliament.

We can, for example, give evidence to Select Committees(link is external), get in touch with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST(link is external)), and All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs(link is external)).

By being visible, we can support MPs to scrutinise government policy, look into urgent problems and make better decisions.

This can seem quite daunting, but it became clear that we can all tap into already existing extensive policy networks to get involved in the policymaking process.

Whether that’s by looking into the policy connections or the policy offices that professional societies such as the British Psychological Society has, or within our own organisations.

We all have expertise that we can contribute to policy debates. Sense about Science’s guide on Getting Your Research Into Parliament(link is external) is a great place to start for practical tips.

As a scientist you can contribute to public and policy discussions to see positive developments both in your research area and outside of your research field.

It is your responsibility as a researcher to speak out and start having conversations with people, make new contacts and make connections.

Communicating with the public

Public Engagement: a practical guide(link is external)’is Sense about Science’s free guide for researchers on how to effectively engage with the public and communicate research findings.

Public engagement is a two-way interaction, listening and communication between the public and researchers is key and often leads to mutual benefits.

First, to effectively engage, we need to understand the status of the public discussion: what are people saying about our research topic, what are the misconceptions?

This can involve looking at the media, policy discussions, blogs, public statements and forums to see where people are engaging with your research topic.

Use this scoping to identify and involve the individuals and groups who show most public interest in your topic. This will really help you influence the public conversation and support you in sharing your research findings.

Next, plan how to best communicate your research. You could choose websites, guides, graphics or videos. Be sure you choose the format that is relevant for people to access your content.

Once you’ve settled on the communication and have prepared some materials, you can hold user-testing workshops and one-on-one sessions.

These can be invaluable in understanding the aspects of your communication that need refining, and help you evaluate what the most and least clear things are in the way your research is presented.

Co-creating your research resources and tools with users in this way will ensure the information is presented in the clearest way possible.

Finally, by now you will have met people and groups who will have given you suggestions about your communication, so don’t forget to share it with them and ask them to help spread the word.

You can also promote resources in the media and at events, as well as online through blogs and social media.

Our role as scientists in society

The ‘Standing up for Science’ workshop highlighted our responsibility as early career researchers to engage with the public, media and policymakers at all levels and contribute our research and expertise to public debates and policy discussions.

This can start with a simple step such as approaching your local newspaper or a science journalist about your research, writing a blog for a learned societies magazine, or contacting your local politicians and policy advisors for you to provide them with evidence they can use in their policy discussions.

I encourage you all to get involved and start making good use of your expertise, be it related to research or not, so that we, as early career researchers, can positively shape future society.

To find out more about ‘Sense about Science’ and for more tips and advice on standing up for science, visit is external)

Join the Voice of Young Science network to make sure you don’t miss out on opportunities to stand up for science.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Psychological Research

I am pleased to have contributed to 'Psychological Research'. Read about it here at if you want to learn about the effect of hyperarticulation on speech comprehension under adverse listening conditions!

Friday, October 8, 2021

Peer Review Week 2021 highlights

What an awesome week Peer Review Week was! There have been many new firsts for the PRW 2021 Steering Committee. They include voting for the theme of PRW for the first time using a poll that the international community could take part in to have their say. Updating the Peer Review Week website. And holding the first Peer Review Week Panel discussion. It was an absolute honour for me to take part as a panelist. You can listen to the first Peer Review Week Panel discussion dedicated to the PRW 2021 theme of identity here:

What's more is that I am happy to say as co-chair of the Marketing & Communications subcommittee that we managed to schedule a promo tweet for each PRW activity. What is also amazing that the Events & International Outreach subcommittee helped organise the 'China Online Forum', in which more than 1,300 people participated including researchers, STM journal editors and library and information personnel. Another highlight was that I had the privilege to contribute to the seventh ScienceTalks event that was held on the ScienceNet blog where the topic was 'Navigating peer review feedback: How can authors respond to reviewer comments'. It was real fun as a panelist to answer as many questions as possible from an international audience within the timeframe of two hours! You can find out more here at

It was also a great honour to contribute as a panelist to the Researcher Live - Edanz co-sponsored panel discussion in the Q&A on 'Identity in peer review'. You can listen to the panel discussion here: 

Overall, we promoted 100 Unique Events and Activities During PRW 2021!

And we got 51 Organisations Involved in This Year’s Steering Committee! 

Here are some more highlights from PRW 2021 in an overview:

  • More than 40 online webinars and training sessions, including “Finding a Place in the Peer Review Process,” organized by PRW Steering Committee members for early-career researchers. 

  • Nearly 30 Blog posts

  • Over a dozen Videos

  • Plus 15 unique online publications, quizzes, surveys, podcasts, and audio clips.

View all activities here

  • PRW maintains an active social media presence on YouTube (400+ subscribers) 

    • As of early September 2021, 64 Peer Review Week videos are available on YouTube. 

  • PRW maintains an active social media presence on Twitter (@PeerRevWeek, ~3,000  followers)

    • During Peer Review Week 2021, the @PeerRevWeek Twitter account logged 280 new followers, 534 mentions, 23,800 profile visits, and 115,000 impressions.

    • For comparison: Peer Review Week 2020 logged 405 new followers, 734 mentions, 4,338 profile visits, and 118,000 impressions.

Please feel free to get in contact with the Peer Review Week Steering Committee if you would like to get involved!

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Q&A on the Identity in Peer Review


What a pleasure it was to contribute to the Researcher Live - Edanz co-sponsored panel discussion on 24th, the last day of Peer Review Week, and take part as a panelist in the Q&A on 'Identity in peer review'! What a perfect way to end Peer Review Week 2021! You can listen to it here:


Tuesday, September 21, 2021

My Journey Through Peer Review Week 2021

When I attended the workshop Quality and Peer Review organised by Sense about Science this spring I expected it to be an informative event where I could find out more about what peer review is. The content discussed, however made me realise the importance of peer review, which made me take a look at the guide by Sense about Science called 'The nuts and bolts' in peer review.

Thanks to my attendance I then found out about Peer Review Week. It was unbelievable to me that there could be a week dedicated to peer review and I just found out about it now. To explore how I could contribute to the week, I volunteered to join the Peer Review Week 2021 Steering Committee. I was welcomed by the co-chairs and since May I have been active as co-chair of the Marketing and Communications committee in helping the PRW steering committee team prepare a great PRW 2021. So far, I have found my experience really inspiring because we get to work as a team with different individuals and organisations from all over the world to support them in sharing their incredible events and activities they have put together to inform and educate everyone about peer review.

The timing couldn’t have been better as around the same time I also got the news that I had been accepted onto the first stage of the Nature communications ECR peer review program, which allowed us to attend a very insightful webinar organised by `Nature Communications editors on constructive peer review. The webinar was mind-opening and allowed me to understand the process of peer review in more depth. I recently got selected into the second stage of the Nature communications ECR peer review program. I’m looking forward to the hands-on experience of peer reviewing an article from the Nature portfolio with the support of a mentor. Completing the Nature Masterclass course on peer review also helped me to get practically ready for conducting peer review.

Anyone who would like to take part in PRW 2021, please take a look at the activities that are being organised during peer review week at

The theme of this year’s Peer Review Week revolves around identity. The scholarly kitchen at recently put together a collection of quotes by members of the 2021 Peer Review Week Steering Committee about what identity in peer review means to them. 

Here is what I said: ‘This year’s Peer Review Week’s theme is identity. What is identity? Identity is who we are. We are individuals who live at different levels, such as at the personal level, the professional level, the social level, the cultural level, and any other level. We might think that we use these different identities to connect with each other, for example, in our roles as an employee, a friend, a parent, a brother, a colleague. However, the truth is that it is through the diversity of our experiences and insights into life that we are able to connect with each other because at the spiritual level we are all one.

It is only by recognizing diversity that we can start celebrating humanity. When we acknowledge ourselves as who we truly are at the human level, we can promote peer review practices with inclusivity and equity and we can overcome any obstacle that might come our way. When we work through the process of peer review in a collaborative way, this is actually the moment when our identities, and our different backgrounds merge and we become one because peer review allows us all to come together in our shared aim to ensure high-quality research.

Recent events have shone light onto and emphasized our shared identity as human beings and we need to ensure that throughout Peer Review Week 2021 and beyond we develop a higher awareness as human souls for us to grow as authors and peer reviewers so that regardless of our earthly backgrounds, yes, we can express and show generosity, care, kindness, consideration and understanding as authors, peer reviewers, journal editors, publishers and readers.’

I also recommend the virtual panel discussion that is the first official 2021 Peer Review Week event that premiers today at 2PM BST

If you are interested in learning more about the process of peer review, I suggest starting with the guide here

And doing the course Nature Masterclass course focus on peer review here

I recommend you to find out more about suitable peer review courses that might be arranged in the professional scientific organisations that you are part of, and to talk to your supervisor and find out if you could start by co-revieiwing a paper with them.

It was an absolute honour to contribute to the virtual Peer Review Week 2021 panel discussion and I am delighted to contribute to ScienceTalks here and to the Researcher Live - Edanz co-sponsored panel discussion on ‘Identity in peer review’ here

I’m looking forward to seeing you involved in peer review during Peer Review Week 2021 and beyond! Happy Peer Review Week 2021!

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Peer Review Week 2021-ScienceTalks event

As part of Peer Review Week 2021, I have been invited as a panelist to take part in the seventh ScienceTalks event to be held on the ScienceNet blog where the topic will be 'Navigating peer review feedback: How can authors respond to reviewer comments'. 

Based on the topic, the event will be interesting for early-career researchers and therefore you can ask questions around dealing with peer review, knowing more about what reviewers expect, and understanding reviewers' comments such as the following:

• How to deal with the comments of reviewers;

• What to do if the author does not understand the reviewer’s comments;

• How the author responds to the reviewer's comments that he disagrees with;

• What to do if the author feels that the reviewer is biased/unfair;

• What is a good peer review;

ScienceNet blog is the Editage (CACTUS) ScienceNet account and the organisers are excited to be holding the event on 23rd September between 15:00-17:00 Bejing time that is 7.00 am to 9.00 am UTC. To find out more, have a look at their page at

I wish you Happy Peer Review Week 2021!

Friday, September 17, 2021

Peer Review Week Panel - Finding a place in the peer review process

Peer Review Week 2021 starts in 3 days and as part of the PRW 2021 Steering Committee, I would like to share with all of you the first official PRW event that is the first ever Peer Review Week Panel Discussion! This panel discussion revolves around this year's PRW's theme of identity and therefore the needs of early-career researchers working to develop their identities as authors and peer reviewers and ways scholarly publishers can support them. The PRW 2021 Steering Committee is very excited to release the virtual panel discussion recording on the PRW YouTube channel September 21st at 9AM ET/ 1PM GTM/ 2PM BST.

Here we have got the link that will lead you to the landing page with the panel details on the PRW website:

Peer Review Week 2021 is between 20th and 24th September and we invite you to share the news about PRW 2021 with academics and non-academics alike!

Sense About Science

What an honour it was to take part in Sense About Science's 'Standing up for science' workshop. Please check out the link here a...