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@askennard @JoseEdGomes

The moderator is really important.

If a talk is really bad, it's usually only the PIs who can come up with a cogent question.

I think a good moderator should know the seminar was a stinker and if so just let the PIs ask questions. If it was a fantastic talk, that is when to pause before picking a PI question or cajole students to ask questions.

Having the moderator choose the questioner is ideal, because the speaker usually has tunnel vision.

@askennard I agree this is an issue and that students need time to process. some people may never ask a question for very good reasons, e.g. because of neurodivergent or mental health condition which means they are unable to speak up. I agree with the other comments that good moderation is key and that zoom taught good lessons. It's not beyond the realm of current tech to poll comments via an app and then get the moderator to ask the question on the students' behalf.

@askennard When seminars went online during UK COVID lockdowns I noticed a much greater range of people asking questions than in person.
At least in part this was due to being able to type and edit a question - which helps with formulating the question more clearly - and having that extra thinking time in a space where people aren't looking at you.

Even when people were then called to read out their questions by the chair there was still an increase in students asking questions

@askennard some of the improvement was through the tech, so there might be ways to build on that in person, still.

Perhaps one option is to use something like Mentimeter during the seminar, so that the host can see questions coming in from everyone.

Some of the improvement was from the change in the culture that came from seeing this model bed in and be supported by the chairs, speakers and attendees.

Plans to increase participation need continuing input and support week after week

@askennard @JoseEdGomes I 've liked the spirit of the system at my current uni, where the format is: "as always, we'll pause 30s so you can chat to your neighbour, and then we'll take questions with first from students."

The 30s pause is nice. It gives a chance for ideas to formalize, and maybe boost student confidence to ask that question if they ask their neighbour and their neighbour is like "oh... huh yeah I dunno. You should ask."

And by “not succeed,” I mean an awkward pause followed by the host relenting and letting a faculty member ask a question.

I know that waiting longer can help, but as a trainee that awkward pause stresses me out and interferes with my thinking of a question to ask!

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Does anyone else find that the well-meaning trend in seminar of “first question from a student” tends not to succeed?

My proposal: THIRD question must be from a student.

Students usually need time to process the talk and build up the courage/conviction to ask it. And once faculty get the ball rolling it feels easier to raise your hand. I think it’s on hosts to check the vibe partway through and explicitly ask for students to talk, but at the start never seems to work well.


In this preprint, we identified a conserved or suspiciously structurally similar interface between a large highly conserved well-folded protein and its fast-evolving co-factors in yeast and humans. Some of the co-factors are large, but all of them consist primarily of disordered regions.

We are now using alpha fold to predict protein-protein interactions amongst proteins that are linked to these ones via phenomics.

#StructurePredictions #Phenomics

Wow. Ordering the free #Covid home tests was pleasantly _not_ painful at all. Almost tooo easy for a government process...🤔

Hello #science Mastodon friends! I’m a postdoc at University of Geneva studying #membrane remodeling with #invitro #reconstitution cell biology tools. I love fluorescence #microscopy and #em. 
At the moment I’m actively studying #clathrin, #actin and #eisosome. I want to know more about membrane lipids and how they affect on membrane properties, protein functions and how membrane is deforming. #introduction

@askennard @CellySally @steveroyle @the_node
Thanks for the feedback, we'll definitely look into options for different platforms.

#Microscopy and #Imaging people of Mastodon! Have you heard about the FocalPlane Network run by @focalplane_jcs ?

The idea is to build a network of people into imaging (maybe cell biologists, or microscope builders, image analysts etc). This is so that of people need a speaker or panel member with expertise, they can find someone. If you are happy to, you can other info e.g. gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+ identity and disability status, to help diversify conferences and other opportunities.

Registration is now open for our 2024 Journal Meeting 'Diversity and Evolution in Cell Biology' organised by Gautam Dey
@gautamdey, Lillian Fritz-Laylin, Snezhka Oliferenko, Meg Titus & Michael Way. View speakers & apply at:

#CellBiology #Evolution #JCSevocellbio

This is an interesting preprint. High profile tweeters conducted a controlled experiment to test if tweeting about a paper boosts its citations. They could influence the downloads of the paper but no significant effect on cites.

#Preprint #bioRxiv #Altmetrics

In our preprint we describe the sequencing, assembly and analysis of the E. muscae genome, revealing a suite of interesting findings about these highly-specialized pathogens, including expansions of proteins that break down insect blood sugar and those that degrade insulin.

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Hey guys, it’s been a minute. I’m excited to tell you about a new @biorxiv_pubd preprint about the Entomophthora muscae genome! (1/n)

#NowPlaying Yussef Dayes - Black Classical Music. Really enjoying this #jazz record. Huge sounds. Play loud! #YussefDayes #BlackClassicalMusic

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