Sci-comm from a cyclone: RealScientists farewells Sciengage’s Sam Askin

samtweetFrom his day job at James Cook Uni as a biochemist working on protein characterisation and drug discovery, to moonlighting as the founder-director of science communication hub Sciengage, to being dad to two small boys, our curator of the past week Sam Askin wears a lot of hats. Unfortunately if he was wearing a lot of hats this week they would have been blown off by the cyclonic fury of pure unadulterated science excitement that was whipped up on the account by his (and your!) enthusiastic tweeting. And possibly by the actual cyclone which whipped at his hometown of Townsville during the week.

From Sciengage's Instagram account:

From Sciengage’s Instagram account:

Sam began by talking about how he introduced his kids to science, as a way of introducing how he became interested himself as a kid, and his long and winding career path into, around, out and back into science – all while becoming a dad. Sam dug into the molecular nitty gritty of his own work in protein biochemistry and molecular diagnostics, the role of proteases (proteins which chop up other proteins) in normal and disease states, and some details of the assay that Sam’s lab developed. He also talked about his time working as a research assistant, and coordinated a long and involved discussion on the pros/cons of taking on a PhD. All while incurring and placating the Twitter wrath of a former heavyweight champion of the world. While sitting out ‘some breeze and a bit of rain’ Sam outlined how killing biotin ligase could be the key to smashing flat all manner of bacterial infections, while decoding the alphabet soup of DSF-GTP and SPR. Sam finished up his week talking about how he fell in love with science communication via Twitter, and came to create

sciengage screenshot

That’s all from Sam, but if you missed anything from his week check out Storify: Sun-Mon | Tue-Wed | Thu-Fri | Sat-Sun.

We have thoroughly enjoyed having Sam on the account, and wish him all the best with Sciengage, and with the next step in his science career, wherever it takes him. Keep following him and Sciengage to find out just where that is!


Next week: Natural history museum curator Dr Mike Dickison, aka @adzebill.


James is a recovering scientist and escaped postdoc who works in research management at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He's now retired from active @RealScientists duty, after serving from the project's beginnings in 2013 through to mid 2015. When not managing research, surviving #PlanetParenthood or pretending not to be an expat Australian in the Deep South of NZ, he tweets @theotherdrsmith.

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1 Response

  1. February 7, 2014

    […] My RealScientists week wrapped up after the science communication discussion, and since then it has felt like a part of me is missing! During that week I felt like I could do it as a living; engaging 24/7 with Tweeps online to talk science from all angles. Yet all good things come to an end, and I left my week on a high before the next curator took over on Sunday. The RealScientists admin afford all of their curators a worthy send-off, with a summary post of their own covering the general topics of what was discussed and linking to the Storify summaries from the week. Check out my summary post from RealScientists here. […]

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