Advice from a Stem Cell Researcher
Knowing that thousands of scientific papers are published annually, in the grand scheme of things, publication may seem trivial. However, we cannot ignore the role that sharing new knowledge and recognizing fellow scientists’ work has played in driving our advancement through centuries of scientific discovery. The process of scientific publication, in and of itself, creates a mindset that is vital for scientific advancement at an international level. This, coupled with an innate passion for discovery shared amongst the researching community, is a large component of what has led to a global doubling of scientific output every nine years.
The relationships and skills developed through the publication process serve as valuable resources for collaboration and network-building – both of which are critical to long-term success in all professional disciplines. The processes of peer review, editing, and publication alone foster relationships within and around the scientific community. These networks, in turn, serve as valuable foundations not only for advancing multidisciplinary research by encouraging the cross-pollination of research fields, but also for helping to extend productivity, yield the resources necessary for solving multiplex problems, and provide a cardinal support structure for one’s academic career.
As an editor for the CSFJ, and being a researcher myself, I often read and think about the general impact and application of science, and how discoveries can be reported and communicated effectively. My discussions with fellow editors and academics often revolve around novel, or noteworthy, scientific findings presented by scientists all over the world. This is what makes my role with The CSFJ so exciting – I get to engage with astonishingly intellectual and creative young minds of people near and far, helping to review and publish their newest ideas and findings. These interactions also help foster the emergence of novel ideas and approaches.
I have learned many things through my time investigating scientific questions alongside young Canadian scientists. The academic and creative potential held by the authors with whom I have worked is absolutely invaluable. As we grow older, we inadvertently have more to lose, so we (often) develop a sense of fear (of failure or other) and stop asking important questions that push us out of our comfort zones. From my experience with The CSFJ, I have learned that children, more often than not, are not afraid to probe at some of the greatest questions out there, and moreover, they are able to present their investigations in a palpable manner. My time with The CSFJ has helped me refashion my approach to scientific writing and experimentation. After all, a vital component to understanding something is being able to explain it in simple terms. A good scientist should be able to explain their work to anyone. I am continually impressed with the quality of scientific writing presented on manuscripts prepared by these young Canadian scientists.
Preparing manuscripts for each issue of the CSFJ brings new science to my virtual desk, allowing me to discover new scientific findings and explore the broad scope of interest held by young scientists. Being an editor for the CSFJ is a dynamic, high-energy, and incredibly rewarding job, as I get to interact with brilliant young Canadian scientists to publish exciting scientific stories.
Honours BSc, Applied Health Sciences
University of Waterloo