The truth about marijiuana -addictive or not?

MARIJUANA WILL BE AVAILABLE ON NHS (National Health Service) FROM NOVEMBER 1. Canada just approved the use of cannabis for adult use.
Marijuana will be available for therapeutic use in the UK in 3 weeks. The 3 criteria required for the pharmaceutical products to be approved are:
📌 they need to contain cannabinol or its derivatives, cannabis or cannabis resins
📌they have to be produced exclusively for medicinal purposes
📌they have to be medicinal products

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The Theory Gang – a game to stimulate creative thinking

This article is one of the serious “Creative ways of making money as a grad student”. Natasha is the founder of the Theory Gang. She asked me to help to advertise her new game, a series of cards to help people understanding when a news is real or fake. You can buy the cards by following this link. You can find Natasha on Instagram and Twitter too.


Natasha was an academic neuroscientist. After doing her postdoc, she decided to move to Industry. However, she really missed the intellectual discussion on going to academia. While talking with scientist friends about sciency academic topics, she came up with an idea and that’s how Theory Gang was born.


After doing a few events, mainly science communication events, I realised it was so fun and engaging and I didn’t want to stop there. I knew we needed to make this into a product.



The game is basically about mashing concepts up. So you may get a piece of data about genetic editing or GMOs or climate change and you look at your cards to see what sounds funny or what sounds good. Then you mix up the two ideas and do something creative like writing a story or extrapolate the data. For example, if you got climate change data and Melania Trump you might be able to extrapolate what happens next.

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Attempts to use genetics to rank populations show a fundamental misunderstanding of genetics

Myself and Rachel @theblondebiologist finally met. She invited me to go to the #walkforfreedom organised by @a21. Modern slavery comes in different forms such as sexual exploitation, child labour, underpaid work and traditional human trafficking. Currently, there are millions of slaves around the world. Only 1% get rescued and, even worse, less than 1% of traffickers get convinced. In the UK, there are an estimated number of 10000-13000 victims and the cash flow generated by these criminal activities is about £104.5 million per year.
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Is science for everyone and accessible to everyone?

The other days, we all celebrated the Nobel prize in medicine, chemistry and physics. Many of us were really happy to see different faces, female ones, rather than those we are used to seeing any time, white old man. In the broad scheme of science, women, people of colour and any other minority are underrepresented. This is why we don’t tend to see these faces the only moment of the year when science is in the spotlight.
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Creative ways of making money as a grad student.

I recently attended the STEM Festival in Peterbourg, a small town located a bit norther than London. The event aimed at showcasing science and technology to kids ages 7 to 12.  The festival was a chance to meet up with some of the amazing girls that use social media to do science communication. Emily is a first year PhD student at the University of Leicester and she does research on cancer. She also has a blog and an Instagram page @biochemily_.

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Inferior – a book which dismantles all the prejudices against women

I have recently come across the book Inferior written by Angela Siani. I was advertised by one of my friends, Mafalda, who I connected through Instagram and had the pleasure to meet in person in London. The book isn’t enjoyable but a must a read for every woman who doesn’t want to accept the rules that society imposed on women. The book is highly recommended.

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How to apply for a PhD programme in UK

September has been an intense month both on PhD and personal life. I recently gave a presentation on my research and it was the first time that I did it. It was quite an experience. I was a lot under pressure to show everyone that besides the social media, I actually do good science too.

Many people ask me about my PhD and what they have to do to apply for a PhD in the UK. I decided to make a blog article because loads of people are asking and I don’t have the time to answer individually.
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My first UK scicomm meetup – scicomm on Instagram

I went down to London yesterday to attend the New Scientist Live Festival. It was an awesome experience and I learned a lot about studying the Arctic landscape by using drones or using technology to manipulate the body. Sounds scary, but if you think of people with disabilities it can make a massive change in the quality of their life.

It was also a chance to meetup up with some of the biggest science communicators in the UK. Mafalda, Soph and Charlie pioneered the field of scicomm by using Instagram. Soph won the prize for the best scientific blog in the UK this year and Charlie is connected with the biggest science magazines and she’s involved in the organisation of some science festivals in the UK.
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How to deal with anxiety in grad school

I have been asked to talk about the way I deal with anxiety in grad school. Since this is a problem affecting many students, I think it’s worth sharing my experience and help others who struggle during their PhD.

Constant deadlines, oral presentations, journal clubs, poster presentation, financial difficulties, teaching, demonstrating in the undergrad labs, keeping up with the literature, doing experiments, analysing data, annual reports and assessments, supervising undergrad students in the lab and help me counting all the additional activities we are asked to commit to when accepting a PhD scholarship. The PhD training is tough and many students don’t cope with the stress and anxiety.
A recent review published in theInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being analysed the state of wellbeing of Doctoral students. They found out that students suffer from a poor lifestyle and struggle to manage their work-life balance. What a surprise.
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Myself and socialmedia – An investment for the future

Last year, with the aim to promote myself professionally, I decided to turn this website in a diary of my PhD experience and tell about the good and the bad of this journey. I started sharing my blog post about life beyond PhD and marketing yourself on LinkedIn, Facebook student groups and Twitter with a modest response. I struggled a lot to find my community and reach out to the people who were interested in my writing. Many find it odd to take grad school advice from someone who is still in grad school but as my professor told me


I never liked to push my content online and this is when I learned about hashtag to reach out to people who are interested. More importantly, I underestimated the power of a new social platform, Instagram. We think that this space is only for fashion bloggers and footballers and whoever wants to show off. This is true but don’t forget that social media are algorithms. You get out what you throw in. They suggest people or pages to follow according to your research and people who you already follow.

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How to be an international student – PhD life

As many of you know, I am an Italian student in UK. I did my undergrad and master in Italy and moved in the UK in 2015. I have been living here for almost 3 years now and I am approaching the last year of my PhD. Hopefully, I will graduate next year and I will have got my 3rd degree and reached the highest level of education by then.

Along with my PhD research, I started an Instagram page called phd_to_success for personal branding (I will talk later about it) and this helped me in reaching out a wider audience and making friends around the world. One of my Instagram friend, Afsoon from Iran, IG at @chase_that_dream9, asked me to share my experience as international student and this is what this post is about.
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A career in science communication – Anna Zakrisson

If you follow me for a while, you might know already that one of the section of my blog is dedicated to interviewing people inside and outside academia that made their own success from scratch. Please look at the section Interview to Success to check the previous articles.

Today, I want to use this space to talk about Anna Zakrisson, a scientist who made her career out of science communication.  Anna is a doctor in biology and studied at fancy institutions like Cambridge and the Max-Planck Institute. She also held the position as VP of Content at a fast-growing company. After this, she decided that she was better off doing her own things and educated people on the importance of science and science communication. Anna is a  SCIENCE COMMUNICATOR. She works closely with world-renowned musicians and artists creating UNIQUE performances and events that transgress the ridiculous Victorian subject lines. Her main collaborative partner is the opera singer Joa Helgesson and aims to reach the general public with SCIENCE BY STEALTH and awaken curiosity and eagerness to learn more.
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