Crowdsourcing the best in science: thanks and farewell to Mona Nasser

As many of you may have noticed, we like using Storify here at Real Scientists. It’s a great way to collect together particular discussions or content that our curators put together during their time on the account. We don’t always do them, it depends on the style of the curator – we average about 1 per week.

This week was a little different, this week not only did I make so many that at one point I had to delay posting it to space them out a little, but Mona took matters in to her own hands and made one herself!

This flurry of Storifies was the result of Mona’s amazing ability to inspire a huge number of our Real Scientist followers to come together and contribute information on a wide range of topics from art to leadership. Below are links to the Storify collections of those amazing discussions.

#WalkS Taking you through the steps of a systematic review 

RealScientists: A discussion of science and art

RealScientists: What makes a good leader in science

RealScientist: The best inspirational childhood books/movies/tv/music/art etc

Each of these collections are a small subset of the amazing crowdsourced content that Mona managed to assemble. In addition to all this Mona also gave us an insight into her lab and her passion of planes.

A passion that during her curating, led to the creation of SciFly a Facebook group for like minded scientific flyers. You can check out all of these amazing things in Mona’s tweets from last week here and below is a interview she gave about her week, how she found running @RealScientists and which kids show to watch!

So first question (they get more specific after this); How did you find your week as a curator?

It was fun! The realscientists followers are very nice. It was quite interesting that there is a mixture of engaging with lay people along with other scientists. I find interesting new perspective on my own research, identified opportunities for new collaboration and found fellow scientists-aviators. We are now interacting in a facebook group that we call Sci-Fly. I also have some a list of new Sci-Fi movies/series to watch and a list of cool science book/movies/kits/games that can inspire children in case I have to buy gifts for friend’s children.

That’s quite a highlights list, It’s great to hear you got so much out of it, were there any lowlights?

Not really – It was a LOT of tweeting and I was worried that I can’t keep up with everyone. However, everyone was nice and fun (except for one person/one tweet). I find it suprising that it wasn’t only telling people about my work and answering questions. When there is a discussion. I think that my role is more of a facilitator of the discussion rather than answering all questions. I had to give my fingers a “twitter rest” afterwards.

It can be a shock going from talking to 1,800 followers to 12,000. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?

It was much more interaction that I usually get but then it’s nice to see that people are interested in what I do. I would be more worried if no one would interact or say anything 🙂 I didn’t intend to be the most boring RS curator!!

Well I don’t think you were in any danger of that! Is there anything you wanted to get out of / do on the RS account that you didn’t manage to fit in?

Not really – I expected that the science in developing countries discussion question would be much more popular and then I was surprised that the question around books/movies/games/kits that inspired children was so popular.

Do you have any tips or advice for future RS curators?

The first thing that comes up to my mind is “Listening as you are talking”. The followers of realscientists are interesting people and it is helpful to listen to what people say and think as you are talking about your own work. One of the beauty of the project is that as a curator you not only talk about your research but also show the “human side” of Academia.

Couldn’t agree more, we really want RS curators to show people a rounded view of life as a scientist. Other than yourself of course, are there any other people/accounts that people should follow if they liked you and what you covered?

If they are interested in bringing together art, science and humanity, they should follow the progress of our cognovo project @plymcoginst. For the systematic review part, recommend to follow @cochranecollab, @bengoldacre and @iainchalmersTTi If they are more interested in the sustainability work I am involved with, this account will keep you up to date then @ISSRPlymUni. And @agihaines is one of our PhD students who works on the interface of art and Science.

Oh I forgot one thing, @UKCochraneCentr is also communicating the evidence of systematic review in lay summary. We have once a month a twitter discussion on the challenges of doing a Cochrane systematic review with the hashtag #cochraneauthor 🙂

Finally, what kids TV show do you think everyone should go watch right now?



Finally, we’d just let to say a huge thanks to Mona for a amazing efforts on RealScientists!

Matthew (@MCeeP)

Matthew is a research fellow at Cranfield University that while trained as a biochemist has accidentally ended up working with optical sensor systems. In addition to helping out @RealScientists he also runs a blog called Errant Science and writes a monthly column for Laboratory News .

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1 Response

  1. August 14, 2014

    […] scientific investigations. It was nice to see that there were others with similar experiences. The final report on my week is also available online if you are […]

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