Final Holiday Curator: Fika, metal, and academic socks – Helena

I’m excited to be back as a curator at Real Scientists! Even though I had to write my own intro post. Okay so Upulie did offer but it seemed easier to do it myself.. Anyway! Since April 2015 I’m one of the moderators around here, and it’s been almost 3 years since I curated the account.

Scientifically, I’m a molecular biologist with a PhD in genetics (applied to lipid metabolism and cardiovascular medicine). After doing a post-doc on gene therapy, I started working with science administration and communication at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. After 3 years at the academy I was recruited to the International Neuroinformatics Coordinating Facility (INCF), where I work with development and outreach since 2010. INCF aims to facilitate the work of neuroscientists around the world by coordinating the global development of neuroinformatics. We foster scientific collaboration, advance training in neuroinformatics, and promote the sharing of data and computing resources to the international research community.

At INCF, I spend a lot of time with organizational development – finding new collaborators (research groups, funding agencies, industry, publishers, other non-profits in the science realm), and maintaining relationships with these groups. This means a fair amount of travelling, usually to neuroscientific conferences around the world (I recently wrote an article on how to get the most out of conferencing, complete with former RS moderator @MCeeP‘s comics). I’m also the head of our communications team, consisting of three people plus myself. My responsibilities include developing and implementing our communications strategy, and having oversight of all our outreach online (website, social media etc.) and offline (our annual congress, exhibitions at other conferences etc.).

In my spare time I do some different scicomm stuff – like moderating this account for example, or doing something with our new network for Swedish science communication – FORSKOM. I also do assorted crafty things, listen to a lot of music, run, and watch a lot of scifi. Oh and fika. Always fika. Usually while tweeting. Helena-fika

I’ve included this picture of me eating an AMAZING maple bacon donut, generously provided by @doc_becca. This is to illustrate the a) fika and b) conferencing things that I’ve mentioned previously in this post. The picture was taken by eminent neuroscientist photographer @BWJones at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego last month.

Last week I tried to twitter-crowdsource what to talk about this week, with varied results: fika, metal playlists for the lab, movies where Huey Lewis hide in plain sight, academic socks, glögg, and skinkost. I’m unsure how to cover this in a scientific or science communicative way, but hey, don’t knock it til you try it, right?


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