Here comes the brain again: thanks and farewell Samantha

Samantha Yammine (@samanthazy) joined RealScientists in July. Samantha is a PhD Candidate in the Department at the University of Toronto studying stem cell biology and brain development.

A few of the cool things Samantha shared with us were the retro way her research group presents their data at meetings…

…delving into the beauty of the brain’s microstructures…

…and showed off the amazing view of Tronno from her lab! Jealousy-inducing.

Samantha graciously filled out our post-curation interview, and you can read her answers below.

In general terms, how did you find your week as a curator?

Wonderful! It was so fantastic having people be excited to interact with me on twitter, especially over my research material.

It can be a shock talking to so many. Did you find the sudden rush of interactions (good and bad) daunting?

Not at all, though I’ve followed the account closely in the past and so had realistic expectations of what to expect and set aside time to handle it accordingly. I am also used to spending a lot of time on my phone so that wasn’t a big change for me.

What were the highlights? Were there any lowlights?

Every question posed to me was a genuine highlight. I was so impressed that people already had questions prepared they were waiting to ask someone in the stem cell/neuro field. Others asked questions based on one of my informational tweets, and in a large majority of cases they were really challenging and relevant questions.

Is there anything you wanted to get out of / do on the RS account that you didn’t manage to fit in?

I wanted to cover a few more topics than I managed to fit in, but then I found it better to be more organic and flexible with the active users’ interests so I covered a few different topics instead.

Did you have a plan? If so, did you stick to it?

I made a list of topics that would be relevant to whatever I was doing each day and mostly stuck to it. I stockpiled a bunch of photos as well, which was really helpful when responding quickly on the spot.

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

I noticed that stand-alone tweets work best, especially if accompanied by a picture. Tweetstorms are not as effective (in general and also on this account). I also posed a lot of questions to the followers to encourage engagement, and found this worked well and brought in a lot of great tweets that I then RT’d. I think it’s nice to RT followers because a lot of them are really interesting and this gives them each a bit of spotlight too, plus more minds tweeting = better content IMO.

What other people or accounts should people follow if they enjoyed your tweets this week?

My personal twitter account is @samanthazy where I post mostly about: science, particularly related to my research areas in cell biology, development, neuroscience, and stem cell biology, but also a bit of space science since I find it so fascinating; I also tweet about innovation and technology; feminism/social justice; food.

I also curate tweets based off local stem cell publications for @OIRMnews that usually has the tag #PubMedCrawl. This is a non-profit organization that organized the Ontario stem cell community, so the tweets would be interesting to anyone who wants to keep up-to-date on stem cell science.

Last, I do #ScienceSunday and #FeatureFriday posts on my personal Instagram account, @samanthatzy (* please note the extra t – slightly different from my Twitter handle). These posts highlight a bit of my lab work and inspiring stories of my colleagues, respectively. I also do a few personal posts there with the goal to show that scientists lead normal lives too, to drive home the message that we are relatable and approachable!

Thanks once again Samantha from all of us here at RealScientists HQ. If you missed anything from her week, the tweets are all collated at the following link.


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