With the fast pace and constant developments in science, it can be easy to get lost with all that’s going on. And if you aren’t already from the specific field of science the research is in, it can also be difficult to get up to speed on what proteins and acronyms the latest research is using.
Chloe Kirk, a biochemist PhD student, shared with us how she navigates learning and staying on top of science research and encourages scientists and non-scientists alike to stay apprised of the latest science breakthroughs.
Sign Up for Science Newsletters
Many of the big science journals (Nature, New England Journal of Medicine) have daily or weekly newsletters you can sign up to that come right to your inbox! They often break down the latest science research into generalizable bites, with links to the full papers if you want to learn more.
Skim the Big Journals’ Weekly Magazines
Journals that publish scientific papers release articles in batches through “editions”. Some of the biggest journals (ex: Cell, Science) will even send you an email when the latest edition is online! Now here you will be facing the entire science article which can be a little technical, but just skimming to get the major points can help you learn how to become fluent in reading more technical science writing.
Follow Podcasts and Blogs on Topics That Interest You
A great area burgeoning with science news are podcasts and blogs. Now there are far too many out there to swear by one or two, but some of Chloe’s favorites include Science Vs, Science friday, and the Nature Podcast. Science podcasts and blogs are a great way that scientists communicate their or fellow scientists’ latest achievements in terms anyone can understand!
Train Your Brain to Love Science by Reading Science Books
While not necessarily keeping you up-to-date on the newest science being published, some of the biggest scientific breakthroughs and science legends have fantastic books written about them and their work. Chloe says it’s a phenomenal place for science enthusiasts to start trying to learn more of the science world while still being new to terminology and the research process. Some of her personal favorites are The Code Breaker, Bad Blood, and For Blood and Money.
Talk with Scientists and Ask Questions
Perhaps the best way to learn about science, though, is by striking up conversations with scientists and science enthusiasts! It’s a great opportunity to be exposed to new ideas and ask for clarification on topics or terminology you don’t fully understand. This can be done by attending science conferences, finding a local science group, reaching out to the author of a paper you read, or keeping in tuned with Science Twitter!
Above all, remember that it takes time to master keeping up with science research- Chloe herself says she’s still learning!
Head to her Instagram and website to see her break down stereotypes of what it is to be a scientist, covering science research topics to life as a scientist to her love of baking and reading, and everything in between.