Sense about Science ? equipping people to make sense of science and evidence
The Voice of Young Science network is a thriving community of early career researchers, engineers, scientists and medics who stand up for science by giving talks, writing articles and blogs and engaging with the public.
See what VoYS members have been up to...
Haazifah - 1st July 2016
Haafizah is an SfAM member and a first year PhD student at De Montfort University with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences. Her current research is within parasitology and molecular microbiology. Haafizah wrote about the Warwick Standing up for Science workshop here.
Hana Pearce - June 2016
VoYS member Hana ran an outreach workshop for 14-18 year olds on the Haven't the Foggiest weather quiz and the importance of critical thinking, as part of the University of Leeds' annual Festival of Arts and Humanities. BBC Radio Sheffield's Rony Robinson also interviewed Hana about the quiz.
Kirsty Ratanji - 6th June 2016
Kirsty is in the final year of studying for a PhD in Immunology at the University of Manchester. She wrote about her experience of the Manchester Standing up for Science workshop on the University of Manchester's STEPS blog.
Caroline Wood - 12th April 2016
Caroline Wood is a member of the Society for Experimental Biology and a PhD student at the University of Sheffield who researches parasitic weeds that infect food crops. She wrote about the Manchester Standing up for Science workshopon her personal blog.
Anna - 10th April 2016
Anna is a PhD student in Biomedical Imaging at Manchester Metropolitan University and a member of the Biochemical Society. She wrote a piece about the Manchester Standing up for Science workshop on the Biochemical Society's blog and her own personal blog.
Georgina Glaser - 22nd February 2016
VoYS member Georgina Glaser blogged in The University of St Andrews' Science magazine about the Havent the Foggiest quiz.
Andrew Barratt - 14th January 2016
Dr Andrew Barrett is a researcher in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading. His work focuses on the physical mechanisms behind why we get heavy and localised rain, which has been the cause of recent flooding events in the UK. Carbon Brief published Andrew's blog about the VoYS weather quiz: "Untangling fact from fiction in media warnings of extreme weather"
VoYS campaign - 14th January 2016
On 14th January 2016, VoYS members launched their latest campaign, a weather quiz called "Haven't the Foggiest" to tackle the missuse of weather terms. The quiz was originally published on Buzzfeed, and was featured on the front page of the Mail Online Science news page. Click here to take the quiz.
Voice of Young Science - 2015
Hayley Gorton - 24th and 26th October 2015
On 24th October, VoYS member Hayley Gorton delivered an hour-long lecture on pharmacists' awareness of suicide to over 250 students from the British Pharmaceutical Students' Association. This was followed two days later by a talk titled “They’ve made it to the bench, but can medicines still get a yellow or red card?” as part of “The Very Best of Pint of Science” during the Manchester Science Festival.
Duvaraka Kulaveerasingam - 13th October 2015
Duvaraka Kulaveerasingam is a PhD student in the final year of her British Heart Foundation studentship researching how the heart grows in zebrafish. She has carried out work experience at BBC Horizon, represented the Institute of Biomedical Science at the British Science Festival and volunteers for the BSA. She offered her top tips following the workshop for King's College London's Graduate School blog.
Sheena Cowell - 7th October 2015
Following the Sense About Science Annual Lecture by Tracey Brown on 28th September, VoYS member Sheena Cowell offered her thoughts on 'The Ugly Truth' for the British Library's science blog.
Ed Parker - 6th October 2015
Ed took part in a user-testing workshop as part of a project to help to make children's heart surgery data more accessible.
Gabriele Butkute - 2nd October 2015
Gabriele Butkute is a science policy assistant at the Biochemical Society. Gabriele gave her thoughts about the workshop on the Biochemical Society's blog
Elisa Fuentes-Montemayor - 1st October 2015
Newly signed up VoYS member Elisa was inspired to write about her research on The Conversation after attending the Standing up for Science media workshop in Glasgow.
Heidi Gardner - 1st October 2015
Heidi Gardner is a first year PhD student in Applied Health Sciences at the University of Aberdeen. Her project aims to improve participant recruitment into clinical trials, with a particular focus on the potential impact of trial branding. Heidi shared her thoughts about the Glasgow Standing up for Science workshop on the Students 4 Best Evidence blog.
Sense About Science Annual Lecture - 28th September 2015
Our fantastic VoYS members once again proved invaluable when helping out at the Sense About Science Annual Lecture 2015. Huge thanks to Chelsea, Mabon, Grace, Rachel, Ed, Chris, Gabriella, Sheena, Olivia, Georgina, Sarah, Gavin and Michelle.
You can see VoYS member Michelle Hawkins' photos from the evening here.
Hayley Gorton - 25th September 2015
Hayley Gorton represented VoYS on the final panel at the Standing up for Science media workshop at the Francis Crick Institute, London. She spoke about ways she stands up for science, including speaking at science festivals, representing RPS and asking for evidence.
Peer Review: the nuts & bolts - 17th September 2015
Aidan Robson - 17th September 2015
Aidan Robson is a physics teacher and STEM ambassador currently undertaking an EngD in environmental engineering focusing on microbial source tracking. He wrote about the Glasgow Standing up for Science workshop on his blog.
Olivia Kirtley - 16th September 2015
Harriet Ball - 17th August
VoYS member Harriet Ball has shared her thoughts on our guide Making Sense of Screening from her perspective as a junior doctor.
Chun-Yin San - 14th August 2015
VoYS member and former Sense About Science volunteer Chun-Yin San has written a blog about using graphics to share scientific information about screening.
Chelsea Snell - 11th August 2015
VoYS member Chelsea Snell has written a blog about her work with Sense About Science's plant science panel and the importance of public engagement with science.
Olivia Kirtley - 24th July 2015
VoYS member Olivia Kirtley spoke at the British Psychological Society Postgraduate Affairs Group (PsyPAG) annual conference about her research into self-harming behaviour.
Rosie Brian - 19th July 2015
Piraveen Gopalasingam - 5th July 2015
Piraveen Gopalasingam is a Research Fellow at Warwick Medical School studying antiviral proteins. He also co-leads a local ScienceGrrl chapter and is a STEM ambassador. Piraveen has blogged about his experience at the Warwick Standing up for Science workshop.
Hanneke Wiltjer - 1st July 2015
Hanneke Wiltjer is a Registered General Nurse working for the NHS, and is also doing a PhD in Nursing at the University of Warwick. Hanneke has shared her thoughts about the workshop on her personal blog.
Elle Johnston - 1st July 2015
VoYS member Elle Johnston wrote an article on public understanding of science. Read it here.
Leah Fitzsimmons - 26th June 2015
VoYS member Leah Fitzsimmons spoke about her public engagement work and her involvement in VoYS myth-busting campaigns on the panel at the Warwick ‘Standing up for Science’ media workshop.
Danae Dodge - 17th June
VoYS member Danae Dodge spoke about Ask for Evidence in Manchester at the Science at the Sally fringe event running along side the Science Communication Conference.Manchester Standing up for Science
Lisa Heaney - 9th June 2015
Lisa Heaney is a neuroscientist at The University of Manchester investigating new treatments for schizophrenia. If she were to have some spare time, she would definitely do something interesting in it. Lisa has written up her experience of the Manchester media workshop on the University of Manchester STEPS blog
Making Sense of Allergies - 4th June 2015
VoYS members asked for evidence about allergy tests and treatments, to coincide with the launch of Making Sense of Allergies.
Chelsea Snell - 20th May 2015
VoYS member Chelsea Snell asked for evidence after reading a series of articles “exposing the truth” behind the food industry. Read her food science myth-busting here.
Glasgow Pint of Science - 18th May 2015
VoYS members Lydia Le Page (2nd from left) and Olivia Kirtley (far right) spoke at a Glasgow Pint of Science event. Lydia spoke about the Ask for Evidence campaign, and Olivia dispelled some common myths about suicide. She also discussed the work of the Suicidal Behaviour Research Laboratory, which aims to help the public understand why some people who think about suicide go on to act upon those thoughts, whilst others do not.
Horniman Museum - 13th May 2015
Led by VoYS members Matt Audley and Chelsea Snell, 30 members of VoYS wrote to the Horniman Museum in London. Read their letter.
Jack Goode - 13th April
Jack Goode, a final year PhD student at the University of Leeds has discussed his thoughts on the Manchester Standing up for Science workshop
Fabiana Luise - 9th April 2015
Fabiana Luise is a third year PhD student in Stem Cell Biology at the University of Manchester. Since 2015, she has attended a High Specialization Training Course in Science Journalism and New Media with European Telematic Academy. In addition to collaborating with some online Italian magazines, Fabiana writes a blog about science and science-related events, where she has discussed the Manchester Standing up for Science workshop
Michaela Mrschtik - 9th April 2015
Michaela Mrschtik is a PhD student in the CRUK Beatson Institute, and her research focuses on defining the function of undescribed proteins in cancer cells. She regularly writes about science for The GIST, and has shared her thoughts about the Glasgow Standing up for Science workshop on the MRC's blog, Insight
Hannah Black - 7th April 2015
Hannah Black, a PhD student in Cell Biology at the University of Glasgow (based at The University of York) has described her experience of the Manchester Standing up for Science workshop on the Biochemical Society's blog.
Fiona Tennant - 27th March 2015
Fiona Tennant, a second year PhD student in physical chemistry at the University of Nottingham shared her thoughts about the Manchester Standing up for Science workshop in a blog. Her blog aims to give people an insight into her thoughts and feeling on life as a PhD student, for both people involved in science and people who have no experience of academia at all.
Claire Marriott - 27th March 2015
VoYS member Claire Marriott (far right) spoke about her involvement in VoYS myth-busting campaigns on the panel at Manchester ‘Standing up for Science’ media workshop.
Harriet Ball - 18th January 2015
VoYS member Harriet Ball was named as a detox-debunking expert in a Daily Mail article on 18th January 2015, Can these plasters suck out toxins through your feet? Harriet is one of many VoYS members who have been busy debunking detox since January 2009.
Voice of Young Science - 2014
Maneesh Kuruvilla - 13th December 2014
Maneesh Kuruvilla is a PhD student at the University of St Andrews where he studies episodic memory from a behavioural neuroscience perspective. He shared his thoughts about the Glasgow Standing up for Science workshop with a video on his blog
Lydia Le Page - 11th December 2014
Lydia Le Page of the Voice of Young Science network has written a guest blog for Cancer Research UK which highlights the importance of asking for evidence with regard to claims for cancer cures and describes how easy it is to do on the Ask for Evidence website.
Detox Dossier back in the press! - 7th December 2014
The Voice of Young Science network produced this guide to debunking detox, highlighting that 'Detox' has no meaning outside of the clinical treatment for drug addiction or poisoning. The dossier documents their hunt for the evidence behind detox claims made for products and diets, and led to a campaign to alert the public. Dara Mohammadi explains in the Observer that there’s no such thing as ‘detoxing’ and looks at the facts behind the latest fad regimes and whether they can really make a difference.
Madeline Burke and Kristian Le Vay - 5th December 2014
VoYS members Madeline and Kris, both from the University of Bristol, were approached as experts for a Guardian article on 5th December, "Diets: is there any science behind the latest fad regimes?", following their work on the VoYS Spoof Diets project.
Sara Mynott - 5th December 2014
The festive season is almost upon us and this week Sara Mynott has been talking about the science of Christmas together with other scientists from the University of Exeter. In a series of short talks in Falmouth, they’ve been shedding light on the benefits of camouflage over the Christmas period, why Santa would favour reindeer and the great ways that different animals decorate - and not only for the holidays! Catch up on what she and the other researchers have been up to on BBC Radio Cornwall (from 1h12mins).
Hephzi Tagoe - 5th November 2014
A Big Biology Day at the Sandford Mill Museum.
This year “A big Biology Day” came to Essex for the first time as part of National Biology Week and was co-organised by Hephzi Tagoe. Big Biology Day is a one day science fair that celebrates the life sciences with hands on activities, crafts anddisplays bringing together a number of biological organisations and individuals under one roof for all the family to enjoy. Read more about the day on Haphzi's blog post here.
James D. Burgon - 4th December 2014
Jack Holman - 2nd December 2014
Jack Holman, a research assistant at the MRC/CSO Institute of Hearing Research in Glasgow, shared his thoughts following the Glasgow Standing up for Science workshop on his blog
Elizabeth Appiah-Kusi - October 2014
Elizabeth Appiah-Kusi wrote an article about the workshop for The King's College London student magazine 'Looking Glass' (article on page 17).
Robert Julian - 7th October 2014
VoYS member Robert Julian recently won the "What does a healthcare scientist do?" competition by the National School of Healthcare Science and the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education. In his video, he explains radiotherapy to the public - using stop-motion lego Lord of the Rings characters.
Dr Supatra Marsh - 17th Ocober 2014
Dr Supatra Marsh, BBSRC Policy Fellow at the Society of Biology and researcher at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, wrote about the Standing up for Science workshop on the Society of Biology blog.
Dr Anusha Seneviratne - 15th October 2014
Dr Anusha Seneviratne, a cardiovascular scientist working at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London wrote about the Standing up for Science workshop on her blog, Beating It.
Megan De Ste Croix - 11th October 2014
Megan De Ste Croix, a first year PhD student in the department of genetics, wrote about the Standing up for Science workshop on her University of Leicester blog.
Elizabeth Appiah-Kusi - October 2014
Elizabeth Appiah-Kusi wrote an article about the London Standing up for Science workshop for The King's College London student magazine 'Looking Glass' (article on page 17).
Amy Turner - August 2014
Amy Turner, a Trainee Clinical Biochemist at St George’s Hospital, London, wrote about the London Standing up for Science workshop in the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine News magazine (p.7)
Leah Fitzsimmons - 27th August 2014
Why Wikipedia? Are more science-trained Wikipedia editors a step in the right direction for democratic access to science and research?
After 8 long years of University education I have to admit that I still do it. What’s worse; I’ve even been known to do it for my own area of research, which I’ve spent most of the last half decade working on. Yes, even though I have been trained to wheedle out dodgy data from the most complicated journal articles, I still often find myself using Wikipedia.
Vicky Forster - 12th August 2014
VoYS member Vicky Forster was awarded a media fellowship from the British Science Association to work on the science desk at The Times newspaper in London for a month. Published today is her piece on the purity of coffee. In her first week, Vicky has contributed to stories about mining the moon and ebola, and written full pieces about the salt content in cheese, CT scanners, and stem cells in the treatment of stroke victims.
Anusha Seneviratne - 28th July 2014
VoYS Spoof Diets project - 28th July 2014
Several VoYS members have been involved with the Spoof Diets project. Some made up diets, others commented on the validity and nutritional value of various fad diets. The project illustrates the importance of asking for evidence behind dietary advice.
Check out our Spoof Diets webpage for more details on the project and its press coverage, which includes an article in the Daily Mail.
Adam Levy - 24th July 2014
VoYS member Adam Levy, a PhD student studying climate change, has made a video about sea levels rising and gin and tonics...
Latha Ramakrishnan - 18th July 2014
Latha Ramakrishnan, a Research Associate at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, wrote about the London Standing up for Science workshop in a guest post on the Biochemical Society blog.
Hephzi Tagoe - 5th July 2014
VoYS member Hephzi Tagoe, Research scientist at Abbot Diagnostics and Science Writer at Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable, interviewed Director of Sense About Science Tracey Brown about her job and changing public discussion about science.
Madeline Burke - 20th June 2014
Madeline Burke, a second year PhD student at the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials, wrote about the workshop on her blog Ask A PhD Student.
James Redfern - 28th May 2014
VoYS member James Redfern wrote an interesting article in Microbiology Today (p.81) about his "PhD with a difference", combining microbiology, school science education and science communication.
Lindsey Robinson - 21st May 2014
Mabon Elis - 19th May 2014
Claire Marriott - 7th May 2014
Emily Jesper - 7th April 2014
Lydia Le Page - 20th March 2014
Lydia Le Page (3rd from left) joined a panel discussion "What do researchers want... and what are we doing about it?" organised by the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP).
Lucy Brooks, Theresia Mina and Zaki Hassan-Smith - 19th March 2014
VoYS members Lucy Brooks (far left), Theresia Mina (3rd from left) and Zaki Hassan-Smith (far right), Society for Endocrinology delegates, attended Voice of the Future 2014.
Lindsey Robinson - 18th March 2014
Lindsey Robinson, an electrochemist in Edinburgh, wrote a summary of the Manchester Standing up for Science day on her blog, Chemist By Choice.
Ashleigh Fox - 17th March 2014
Ashleigh Fox attended the Manchester Standing up for Science worshop, and wrote about the day on her blog Leaving Only Footprints
Marco Smolla - 15th March 2014
Marco Smolla, a PhD student in animal behavioural modelling, shares his experience of the Manchester Standing up foe Science workshop.
Lydia Le Page - 14th March 2014
Lydia represented VoYS as a panellist at the Manchester 'Standing up for Science' media workshop.
Adam Levy - 12th March 2014
VoYS member Adam Levy writes in Prospect magazine about the various challenges and improvements to climate models.
Amara Anyogu - 5th March 2014
Amara recently took part in a WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) panel discussion at Queen Mary University of London, addressing the question: Must researchers engage with the public?
Daniel Amund - 3rd March 2014
VoYS member Daniel Amund features in "A Day in the Life of a Food Science PhD student" on Wiley Exchanges.
Yinka Somorin and Tosin Onabanjo - 24th April 2014
Yinka Somorin and Tosin Onabanjo, members of the Society for Applied Microbiology, wrote about the Manchester Standing up for Science workshop for SfAM news
Scott wrote about antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic development for the New Left Project, a political blog.
Voice of Young Science - 2013
Lauren Biermann - 27th Novermber 2013
Lauren Biermann, a biological oceanography PhD student based at the Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St. Andrews, blogs her thoughts following the Glasgow VoYS workshop.
Maria Teresa Esposito wrote about reproductive techniques to prevent inherited mitochondrial diseases for the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable.
VoYS video - November 2013
Molly Hurley-Depret at Serendipity Communications volunteered to create this video about the VoYS programme.
Music: Yacht - 'The Afterlife Instrumental'
Top tip 1: Ask for Evidence. If you’re being sold a product or asked to believe a claim then you deserve to know whether it’s based on evidence – or imagination.
Top tip 2: Detox. It’s a marketing myth – our body does it without pricey potions and detox diets.
Top tip 3: Superfood. There is no such thing, just foods that are high in some nutrients.
Top tip 4: Cleansing. You shouldn’t be trying to cleanse anything other than your skin or hair.
Top tip 5: If it sounds too good to be true… it probably is.