Posts by category

Short essays

True scientific news doesn’t make the news

Ready, fire, aim: the myth of the scientific method

Pure scientific research pays for itself

Scientific rationale: convenient little white lies?

Benefits of avoiding replication studies

The Goldilocks level of abstraction in science

Introductions in scientific papers can give warped and inflated perspectives

How science is changing

What does scientific genius look like in the 21st century?

Science in the ol’ days: A millennial’s perspective

Computers make me a worse mathematician, but a better scientist

Nonlinearity in scientific productivity

This is the best decade to be a grad student


Clichés of scientific writing

My favourite word is appreciably: overused words in scientific writing

Scientific conclusions: a more journalistic approach

The formatting of Nature, Cell and Science papers improves their readability

Don’t start paragraphs with Figure n shows …

Science is interesting, but not exciting… according to our papers

Don’t write about your scientific paper, just write it


The half-life of citations

A better way to rank the scientific literature

Article titles are more important than your name

Software to use

Using Inkscape for scientific figures, posters, and presentations

Organise scripts and figures easily with Jupyter Notebooks

Jupyter Notebooks are gone from my scientific workflow

Invest in a good text editor

LyX: a middle ground to LaTeX and Word

A better web reading experience

Image conversion with a right-click

A better way to code up scientific figures

Non-scientific software that helps me get science done

Creating Figures

Scientific software skills make up for minimal artistic talent

To make a good schematic, copy, adapt, and refine

Transit map–style scientific figures

Know your image file formats

Figure captions need not be a half page

Figures need attention to detail

Remove redundant labels on multi-panel plots

Ugly scientific figures: Are scientists lazy, indifferent, or oblivious?

Captioning a scientific figure is like commenting code

Line graphs: the best and worst way to visualise data

Using Colour Effectively

Default colormaps: Are Parula and Viridis really an improvement over Jet?

Grey and one other colour: a foolproof colour scheme for scientists

Stop using rainbow colourmaps

Design for black-and-white printing

Design using the HSL colour space


Add any symbol without leaving the keyboard

A hyphen is not a minus sign, and other mistaken characters

Why LaTeX-typeset documents look professional

Four effortless LaTeX packages you should use

To italicise or not to italicise

Palatino and Source Sans Pro, the only fonts a scientist needs

Presenting data

Significant figures aren’t necessarily significant (especially in tables)

What can the fields of UI/UX teach scientists?

Creating realistic fake data

Toward simplicity

Embracing minimalism when presenting science

Remove cognitive overhead from your scientific papers

Simplify your slides

Talks and posters

Scientific posters needn’t look like scientific posters

Skip the outline slide; use a sidebar

Powerpoint isn’t a scrapbook

Put three photos on your title slide

The realities of 15 minute scientific talks

Python and Matlab

Matplotlib animations the easy way

Elaborate Matplotlib animations

Vector and raster in one with Matplotlib

An improved Matlab command line

Python spoilt me; returning to Matlab is hard

Python spoilt me, Part 2


Unintentional entertainment in scientific writing

Benefits of an e-reader for academics

Concluding a scientific paper with a video

100 things a scientist should know about

Does your scientific paper smell?

Scientific publishers, please give your documents better file names

The 100-scientific-papers rule

%d bloggers like this: