Writing and editing

Mapping the structures of sugars (profile of Dr Parastoo Azadi) – November 2020

A profile of Dr Parastoo Azadi for UGA Research. For three decades, Parastoo Azadi has been elucidating the structure of glycans: groups of complex sugars that cover every living cell. Understanding their structure—and their function—could lead to breakthroughs in a number of fields, from medicine to renewable energy and sustainable materials.

How we get sick (Article about Dr Karen Norris’s work for UGA’s Grat Committments page) – October 2020

Brief article about Dr Norris’ work to fit in with the Great Commitments’ section, contextualizing the importance of her research for society. To keep us healthy, Karen Norris wants to understand how the novel coronavirus attacks our immune system.

Article for Spanish magazine CTXT – July 2020

Written in collaboration with Cibrán Sierra, violinist from the Cuarteto Quiroga and winner of the Spanish National Prize for Music.

In the article we reflect on issues of risk and science and culture, such as the problems that can arise when measures taken by institutions appear arbitrary and how that can undermine people’s trust and the response to the pandemic, as well as to the value and relative priority (or lack of) that we place on culture, be it scientific culture, musical or artistic.

We conclude by saying that a “democracy that does not consider culture as an essential foundation is undermining the critical and creative capacity of an entire generation of citizens (…) and a society that does not strongly support science and research is hopelessly and irreversibly damaging its future. A need for institutions and for political action to prioritize science and culture is therefore, today more than ever, a true imperative for survival.”

Article for VoxEurop Scientific advice needs to be transparent, especially in a crisis – June 2020

An article for VoxEurop on the need for transparency in the process of decision-making in the COVID-19 crisis. The lack of transparency and clarity on what scientific advice has been provided to a government and what decision the government then took, does not only pose a problem for accountability. It also damages public trust in the decisions. Without that trust, it will be harder to engage citizens in supporting the decisions and thus implement the policies. Transparency on its own will not be enough to ensure a good response to the crisis. But it is not a luxury that we can ignore.

35 year anniversary of the University of Georgia’s Complex Carbohydrate Research Center – May 2020

The feature was commissioned by UGA Research Communications before COVID-19 spread across the world, to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia. The changing context led to the story using COVID-19 to illustrate how important complex carbohydrates are in many different areas. It involved 13 interviews and a re-write to ensure it addressed current news at the time.

Researchers discover clues to the opioid epidemic – May 2020

The article was commissioned by the University of Georgia’s Marketing and Communications office to summarize the work of Dr Jayani Jayawardhana and her colleagues over the previous three years, trying to understand what makes someone at higher risk of being affected by the opioid epidemic in Georgia. The publication date was set back by COVID-19.

Interpretando la genética forense, Spanish guide explaining forensic genetics, published by Sense About Science – April 2019

Coordinated the production and edited a guide on forensic genetics in Spanish for Sense About Science, based on an existing English version. The guide challenges exaggerated and simplistic ideas about what we can learn from samples of forensic DNA, ideas that forensic geneticists believe are perpetuated by crime fiction and resulting in miscarriages of justice. Moreover, it provided specific example relevant to the Spanish legislation at the time of publication and cases that would be recognizable to a Spanish audience from the media and public debates. Also, put together the media and launch strategy in coordination with local partners. The launch was hosted by the Secretary of State for Justice of Spain and included a speech by me in representation of the client, Sense About Science.


Recent talks

July 2020

Organized and facilitated a Q&A for a local parenting center with local pediatrician Dr. Akilah Tomingas on COVID-19 and children.

Organized and facilitated a Q&A for a local parenting center with medical educator and science communicator Dr. Amber Schmidtke on COVID-19 and the situations in Georgia.

June 2020

Online talk for local Mama & Baby Center on how to engage critically with information and question the evidence behind claims, titled Making sense of science claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 2020

Participated as a speaker on a communication session for the University of Georgia’s Spring 2020 Innovation Bootcamp, for faculty and postdoctoral fellows and designed to examine the unique challenges faced by female entrepreneurs.

January 2020

Talk on effective communication for UGA Innovation District’s “Startup 101”.

April 2019

Introduced the guide Interpretando la genética forense at the launch event hosted by the Secretary of State for Justice of Spain.