Science for Progress

because science is fundamental in the 21st century

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45 Animal Research During the COVID-19 Lockdown – with B&D and Daniela Buchwald

In this episode, Bart and I invited PhD candidate Daniela Buchwald from the German Primate Center – a private research institute. We compare how the University of Göttingen and the German Primate Center (GPC) responded to the impending shutdown of most research activities – with a focus on how the animals are being cared for.

The conversation was recorded on Tuesday, March 17, just after the German local government began to take serious action to reduce public life to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Remember that when we talk about news reaching us on Monday, we mean “yesterday” at the time of recording.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

44 Green Biotechnology – with David Spencer

Dennis’s guest for this episode is David Spencer, a researcher in plant physiology and phytopathology in Germany. In his Ph.D., David uses genetic engineering to fortify soybeans against fungal infection. They explain why we need more resilient crops fast, why this would be great for the environment, and how genetic engineering can help achieve this.

The episode complements the previous one (extended throwback with Hélène Pidon) which focused on explaining different breeding methods and how artificially induced mutations compare to naturally occurring ones.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

43 Extended Throwback: Genetically Modified Crops and the European Union – with Hélène Pidon

During this season, once every 4 weeks, I pick one of the 13 most popular episodes from the first two years and post the original interview. These extended editions contain a couple of parts that didn’t make it into the final cut and give an insight into the underlying conversation.

Supporters on Patreon have immediate access to these versions, btw. If you are one of them, thank you very much! If not, think about it!

This time I present to you the full conversation to 11: Genetically Modified Crops and the European Union – with Hélène Pidon

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

42 Entering Year Three, Dawkins and Eugenics & Ranking Unis – with Bart and Dennis

This episode marks the official end of the second year of this podcast! (unfortunately, there was still no present for Bart – consider becoming a Patron to help!) Apart from the plans for year 3, Bart & Dennis discussed the hot topic of the week: a provocative tweet by Richard Dawkins on Eugenics, and the dos and don’ts, and pros and cons of university rankings.

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about Lauriane Nallet Khosrofian

41 @RealScientists Tweet their SciComm – with Upulie Divisekera

For this episode, Dennis talked to Upulie Divisekera, the Australian molecular biologist and accomplished science communicator who co-founded “@RealScientists”. She shares how she got access to platforms with large audiences, and lessons from her SciComm experiences: that you should use storytelling and never underestimate your audience.

If you are on Twitter and like to learn about science and the people behind it, you probably know @Realscientists, the Twitter rotating curation account. There, real-life scientists sign up to talk about science and their daily lives for a week at a time; showcasing the diversity of scientists, and breaking the trope of academics as an elitist group.  

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

40 What does Society Think about Science? – B&D

In this episode, Bart and I talk about Wissenschaftsbarometer or “science barometer”. This annual survey in Germany and Switzerland is about the public’s trust in science and scientists. Afterward, we talk about a similar survey in the USA, published by the Pew Foundation a few months earlier. For each survey, we picked a couple of questions and interpret the answers. 

As a side note: The extended version of this episode has two parts. Each one is more than an hour long. You can access both parts by becoming a supporter on Patreon. In the past, we asked for a minimum pledge of $5.99 per month for this perk. But now, any pledge will grant you access!

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

Climate Action: Energiewende – Extended Version opened on Patreon!

In parallel to my podcast, I make extended – more raw – versions available to my supporters on Patreon. After a while, I open these episodes to the public.

This time, I open my conversation with Dr. Rüdiger Eichel, who is a professor at RWTH Aachen – a renowned technical university – and director of the Institute for Energy and Climate Research at the Research Center Jülich. It is part of the Helmholtz Association of Research Institutes, which was granted 6,4 Billion Euros by the German government for 2018-2022. This funding is in addition to another 1.04 Billion Germany invested in energy technology research.

These investments are part of the “Energiewende”, the German project to ramp up renewable energy production to, at some point, completely replace fossil fuels and nuclear power at the same time. Critics say the plans would be too ambitious, but Rüdiger Eichel seems to be convinced that it’s doable… if the public is willing to do what necessarily comes with it: a change in lifestyle.

about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

39 From Cosy(?) Academia to Harsh(?) Industry! – with John Stowers

Life as an Early Career Researcher is rather uncertain. The conditions for most postdocs aren’t really great and the availability of professorships isn’t increasing at the same rate as the number of PhDs entering the academic career path – we talk about this, regularly.

So it makes sense to seriously consider other career options, and we do so every now and then, too.

For this episode, I talk to Dr. John Stowers, engineer, neuroscientist, and founder of “LoopBio”, about the transition from postdoc to technology business founder!

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

B&D: The EU, Greens, Homeopathy, and Postdocs – Patreon Exclusive Episode Opened

In parallel to my podcast, I make extended – more raw – versions available to my supporters on Patreon. After a while, I open these episodes to the public.

This time I opened another conversation with my co-host Bart Geurten about the success of the Greens in the EU parliament elections, homeopathy, and postdocs.

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about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

Precarious Postdocs. A Future for Research? – Extended Episode NOW PUBLIC

In parallel to my podcast, I make extended – more raw – versions available to my supporters on Patreon. After a while, I open these episodes to the public.

This time I opened one of my personal favorites: my conversation with Gary McDowell, who actually studied the situation of postdocs in the USA.

Postdocs are, besides graduate students, the main workforce in academic research. Following the PhD, the postdoc position is the only way to follow a research career within academia. Many PhDs around the world are advised to go to the USA for a postdoc – or two – because it is known for its large research output and high quality research institutes. Around two thirds of postdocs in the USA are foreign born.

about Dennis Eckmeier

Dennis founded Science for Progress. He received a PhD in neuroscience in 2010 in Germany. Until 2018 he worked as a postdoc in the USA, and Portugal. In 2017 he co-organized the March for Science in Lisbon, Portugal. Dennis is currently a freelancer.

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