I need your knitting! Knit a Neuron is BACK

I’m bringing back the event that kick-started my love of the knit and purl; Knit a Neuron!!!

I work at the University of Oxford, and part of my role is to run ‘engagement events’. The University as a whole is hosting a Curiosity Carnival on September 16th and 29th to teach the public about our research. I’m a neuroscientist by background, and in my eagerness to take part in the event I suggested they have a ‘Knit a Neuron’ installation. The aim is help kids make neurons, and teach them about brain and health research. Not only was this idea met with enthusiasm, I was asked to organise the whole thing.

This is where you, crafting community, come in.

Lots of scientists want to help on the day, but not all of them can knit! If you can knit or crochet a ‘cell body’ (the round part of the cell), it would be a great help to me and everyone attending and taking part in the event. Then all the non-crafters and kids need to do is plait the two end bits, which is much simpler than teaching 7 neuroscientists how to knit!

 

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Here’s one a Neuro-knitter made earlier.

 

Please contact me: emmacpalmer15 [at] gmail [dot] com for more information and patterns. Some suggestions from the original Knit a Neuron Project for Knitted 2-needle, 4-needle and crochet neurons.

At the end of the event I hope to have a wall of neurons representing the brain and its connections, and for kids to take some neurons home with them as a memento, so I need quite a few!

Please send any donations to Emma Palmer-Cooper, NDPHCS, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG

Dr Emma Palmer-Cooper, NDPHCS, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG

What Psychology Journal Editors Really Do (Really?)

I found this article when searching online to find ways to get involved and work with journals other than doing peer-review…food for thought!

(For clarification, this is satirical and in no way represents what editors actually do!)

My Perspectives (on PsychScience)

A while back I posted the following on a private site.  It got some interesting responses.

I find this [previous] discussion of editorial motives and behavior very interesting.  I am about to break the code of silence here; please don’t spread this around and get me into trouble.

Among the things you guys seem not to know: After you are appointed the editor of a major psychology journal, you are invited to editor boot camp.  This is a three-day retreat in which you learn how to do the job.

Day 1 was mostly an overview of the “system” – the roles people play (from publishers to reviewers to authors), the stages of publication, and the various electronic systems that are used.  Then there was a short section about reviewers – how to select, treat, cajole, and reward them.

Day 2 was about dealing with authors.

The first part was about initial submissions: How…

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It’s not just about the thesis…

Thank you! Some support for my take on a PhD; you need more than just a thesis at the end of your 3/4 years as a PhD student.
Take the time to develop ‘transferrable’ or ‘extra-curricular’ skills that will be useful in a future position.
I personally took on a few ‘society’ management roles, as well as non-PhD related course such as teaching and how to write as a science journalist.
Below is a fab list of other suggestions one could take up as well as thesis writing/paper reading.

The Thesis Whisperer

In a recent lecture at ANU, the esteemed research education expert Dr Margaret Kiley claimed that if we set out to design the Australian PhD from scratch we wouldn’t start from here. The PhD assessment (in most cases, a long form thesis), she argued, does not not necessarily develop the full panoply of skills we expect in a working researcher, inside or outside of academia.

One of the clever students in the audience absorbed the implications of Margaret’s lecture straight away and asked:

If that’s the case, what should I spend my time on? At the moment I spend most of my time reading and writing because that’s what I’m being assessed on. Should I be doing more?

The student’s question went right to the heart of an issue that has been frustrating me for some time: many research students are so busy writing their thesis they fail…

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Guess Who: Women of the World Festival 2014

Today I took part in the Women of the World Festival, 2014 at Southbank in London. I was delighted to be involved in such an exciting and important event!

The theme of the day was ‘Guess Who’, where 7 professionals (2 men and 5 women) stood on stage and gave only their name. The announcer, a presenter from Cbeebies no less(!), then read out the 7 professions and a piece of information about each professional, such as favourite colour or hobby, and from this one hundred 10 year olds had to guess which person matched each profession.

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