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@maurobiani | Mauro Biani | 8.02.2023

Need to write up a scientific paper but got writer’s block and staring at a blank document? A few tips I’ve found helpful over the years... 1/

Start by copying your key results figures/tables into the document. They don’t have to be totally polished in terms of colour scheme etc. Get them down on paper, and arrange them in an order that makes sense in the context of your overarching research question. 2/

Imagine talking colleagues through your figures/tables (or even better, actually give a group talk). Write bullet points for the main messages you come out with for each. Rejig the order if the logic doesn’t flow sensibly. 3/

Write subheadings for your methods section (data, analysis, ethics etc.). You know these things inside out so just sit down at get them written down. 4/

Revisit your results and discuss with collaborators. Everything still make logical sense? Good. Now expand the bullet points into paragraphs, usually one paragraph for each main result figure/table. 5/

Going back to your imaginary (or actual) talk, and note down your key introductory points. What was your big problem? And the narrower gap you’ve addressed? What does a reader need to make sense of your methods/results? Put these down as bullet points under ‘Introduction’. 6/

Think about the conclusion, limitations and wider implications. Note these down as bullet points in Discussion. 7/

Talk through the introduction and discussion bullet points with collaborators. You’ll probably need to rejig/edit things a bit, but that’s fine. Once main points converge, expand into paragraphs with formatted references etc. 8/

The reason for all the bullet points and discussion is it saves drafting loads of text that ends up being deleted based on collaborator feedback. It also makes it easier for others to read and comment on your work-in-progress. 9/

As you expand the text into a complete draft, read it through repeatedly and remember wider good practice for writing. 10/

There are, of course, many other ways to draft a paper, but I’ve found these to be useful in preventing procrastination, reducing wasted effort, and speeding completion. So hopefully others might too. 11/11

@adamjkucharski | Adam Kucharski | 8.02.2023

«Sono un taxista di positività. Cominciamo a vivere la vita in maniera larga, fatta di affetti, amici, amori, e non lunga. Riempiamola di cose belle». Parole di Andrea Silvestrone, raccolte in un articolo di @claudioarrigoni sul @Corriere. Dentro il buio più nero, una luce

@Barney1404 | Luca Valdiserri | 5.02.2023

Please read my new essay in @TheLancet — When dignity meets evidence. There’s a kind of knowledge practice we may call ‘dignity-based practice’. It respects the dignity of marginalised knowers. It’s been slow to take off, unlike ‘evidence-based practice’.

@seyeabimbola | Sèye Abímbólá | 3.02.2023

1/10: My top 10 Covid 19 and related pandemic concerns (in no particular order except starting with short term and heading to long-term

2/10: The immunocompromised and early adopters of the bivalent mRNA vaccine. Based on durability of protection vs hospitalizations, it’s getting to that point for authorizing a second bivalent booster, hoping to hear from FDA or CDC about this

3/10: we may be heading onto the other side of the XBB1.5 wave in the coming weeks as we head into the spring. Unknown if we will see a new summer wave in Texas and Southern US, as we did in 2020 and 2021 (delta). So even though public health emergency may be ending, I propose…

4/10: I propose a heightened pandemic surveillance and preparedness initiative, which includes actions and vaccine/therapeutics availability for potential upcoming waves but also more comprehensive efforts. For instance

5/10: Even if and when we get on the other side of Covid, guess what…a 4th major coronavirus is percolating among bats and will be jumping to humans to ignite another epidemic/pandemic. The point is SARS MERS COVID19, get ready for COVID25, 26, or 27

6/10: That means stepping up a US national virology program to build our virologic research capacity and training, as well as virus ecology and evolution research. This includes supporting orgs like @EcoHealthNYC. Unfortunately the opposite is happening in the House right now

7/10: Along those lines we urgently need a new NIH Director to help lead this, along with a new NIAID Director, together with White House OSTP, National Academies, scientific societies. We need a comprehensive government led national virology strategy to get us ready.

8/10: And there’s more. Don’t forget about seasonal flu and zoonotic/avian influenzas. That threat never disappeared. So this too needs to be folded into a national virology strategy.

9/10: Yet in the US the community of virologists is being attacked unfairly and without cause, exactly at a time when we need the US community of virologists now more than ever

10/10: More Covid-19 waves may arise, Covid-25, 26, or 27 is coming, and it potentially could be worse than the others (or not) we don’t know. Seasonal/zoonotic influenzas have us in their sites. Yet we’re attacking the experts and scientists we need to help us, makes no sense

@PeterHotez | Peter Hotez | 3.02.2023

“Thus I am struck by the opportunity presented by generative AI — lately and specifically ChatGPT— to provide people with an opportunity to better express themselves, to help them write” Knew I could count on @jeffjarvis to go beyond the moral panic.

@Brizzyc | Carrie Brown | 2.2.2023

“Polycrisis just means what it says on the box. This is an age where we’re beset by not just a crisis, but crisis after crisis, which interlock, reinforce each other, and interact, like snowflakes in an avalanche, in accelerative ways.”

@umairh | Umair Haque | 2.02.2023

I for one welcome our new paper-writing overlords

@redpenblackpen | RedPen/BlackPen | 30.01.2023

ChatGPT experiment! “Translating a text is a true way of reading it,” by the amazing wonder, Italo Calvino Similar to “Rehearsal improves performance,” “The way to really learn something is to teach it” Below, Calvino quote, then at bottom ChatGPT’s amazing response:

@EdwardTufte | Edward Tufte | 30.01.2023

I had no money growing up. My dad was a labourer and my mum did everything to make ends meet. Men worked hard. Women worked miracles. But education was free. As was the local library. I knew books were my passport to a better life. #supportlibraries

@rickygervais | Ricky Gervais | 27.01.2023