Hello! I am here to document a new venture that I started a couple of weeks back. Although, I am not sure if it is going to succeed or not, this series of blog posts will certainly document it though.
To say a bit about myself before talking about the venture, I am currently doing a PhD in cancer genetics at the university of Edinburgh in UK. I love what I do and being in the final year of my PhD, I have developed a methodology to subgroup melanoma (skin cancer) patients based on their gene expression. This grouping will allow doctors to predict whether a particular drug is likely to work on them or not. The work is not complete yet but I certainly believe that, it will get through and will make a difference in real life.
There are already couple of methods to subgroup these patients but I realised that they work only under certain conditions and are not always able to predict survival beyond 5 years and that’s where my work comes into significance.
To be honest, when this work gets published, most of you will never ever get know about it. This is where my new venture fits in.
There are plenty of amazing research done around the globe but very little of it reaches the people who pay for it. The way you and me consume media is very different these days.
There are over 2 million peer reviewed research articles being published every year. Something that is common to all these articles is that, they are written in such a way that not everyone can understand it. They are even called with a special name- “Academic Writing”. Most of these articles are only read by other scientists in the field and only a minuscule percentage reaches the public through media.
To make things worse, many of the reports by media are headlined in a way that doesn’t reflect the real purpose of the research in an effort to attract more clicks. This not only doesn’t convey the work in a way that it is supposed to but also creates distrust among people on science and scientists as a whole.
The new venture:
I named it “The Surg”. It’s an effort to get reliable scientific research to the people in the form of short videos in line with “This Generations” mode of media consumption.
For now I have been able to convince a couple of very talented people studying at the universe of Edinburgh to join me in this venture. We read research articles, write a short transcript and make a short (1–2 min) video. The purpose of the video is not to discuss in depth the details of the published research but rather to inform the public the scientific advancement in a way that is simple to understand without compromising it’s purpose or significance. We give utmost importance to quality and are pedantic about choosing the right word to be used to convey the message. It has been truly challenging but we are up for it.
The ultimate aim is to establish a student society within every university, where they pick research done within the university and present it to the public.
Wish me luck as I take this forward in an effort to let you know about the amazing research being done around you.
Here is an example of the kind of videos we make:
I will write about the progress that we make and inside stories of the videos that we make. You can follow me here, if you would like to join me on this journey. Additionally, you can also find me on Facebook or Twitter.