realised that it’ll be quite some time before I’ll have new empirical work out, and trying to make peace with that
felt more empowered in developing my climate action in teaching (gave a few first lectures), research (the very beginnings of a potential research line begin to crystallise after much talking, reading and doubting) and activism. I should specifically thank Scientists4FutureNL, Clare Kelly, Adam Aron, Kate Jeffery, Charlotte Rae, and Ruth Krebs for inspiration and support.
I am proud and honoured to have received the Young talent award from the DNM Dutch Neuroscience society. This was the first time I explicitly talked about my climate activism in combination with my neuroscientific pursuits, which I hope contributes to more conversations about the climate crisis within the Dutch neuroscience community.
I participated in the fantastic Growing Up In Science series, founded at NYU, in which scientists tell their personal stories. It was great, as well as a bit terrifying, to tell my story and discuss with those who joined the session live. Always wanted to know about my career and life paths?
The Covid-19 pandemic has propelled the scientific community into a world devoid of in-person conferences. Traditional ‘legacy’ conferences, which have long been the mainstay of academic networking and crucial for catching the latest science, have been largely replaced with virtual events. Moving conferences online is pandemic-proof, and brings myriad other advantages: reduced cost and travel-related carbon emissions, global reach, and increased accessibility for diverse groups. For instance, virtual conferences remove barriers caused by visa restrictions, expensive travel, disabilities, and caring responsibilities. Taken together, these factors can increase the virtual meetings’ diversity, from including students and young parents to attracting scientists from low-income countries and from adjacent research fields.
I’m a sucker for end-of-year reflections, and this year brought no shortage of memorable events, unanticipated challenges and new life chapters. So here goes: my year in review, in pseudorandom order of my associative memory.
Survived a global pandemic
Kept a small, embodied biological neural network alive, fed and mostly happy. Motor control going well, language will be next
Over the years, I’ve accumulated thousands of notes and a personalized GTD system (with tags and notebooks) in Evernote. I use my own flavor of the Zen to Done method, where I capture pretty much everything (from recipes to articles to read, and from project notes to grant deadlines). I’ve come to heavily rely on this second brain, both professionally and personally.
Evernote has served me well for almost a decade. However, the latest update is so annoying (app is super slow, note export to html gone, ) I’m planning to abandon ship. For now, I’ve downgraded to the last useable version on my devices (thanks, reddit!). Getting some great advice from Twitter, I decided that this is the time to invest in a note-taking solution that’s sustainable for the future.
Writing the acknowledgment section of my PhD thesis felt like a reward at the end of a long journey: taking the time to highlight everyone who contributed, and appreciating the importance of humanity in science. While there is no such thing as a postdoc thesis, it feels just as significant to wrap up the last 2.5 years of my life and career. Since I’m a sucker for end-of-year lists and reflections, these December days of 2020 (what a year it’s been) seems like as good an opportunity as any to reflect on the many people who shaped my postdoc years. Here goes.
The photos below show me, with the brain hat I made during my studies at ENS Paris. I’ve asked students who attended my lecture on neuroanatomy to send me theirs, and I’ll update this page as responses (hopefully) come in.