Network to help inexperienced scientists

Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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As a neuroscience postdoc, I have been lucky enough to work alongside inspirational colleagues who have advised and provided me with an important support network over the course of my career. Realizing that such dedicated professionals could help other researchers to navigate their scientific field, I set up a non-profit outreach and networking initiative last year — The Social Scientist.

Our team of volunteers around the world answers questions from scientists and science enthusiasts looking for guidance. They advise on issues relating to academia, industry, writing and editing, government policy and on alternative careers.

We find that the best advice comes from those with a real passion for their work. We all have different backgrounds and experiences that have influenced our career path. Others can learn from our struggles and achievements.

Our mentors also benefit. They are able to network in an informal and engaging environment, improve communication in their widely segregated fields and give back to the scientific community, irrespective of the stage of their own careers.

Nature 566, 39 (2019)

doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-00489-z

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