Clinical · Healthcare · Insights · Scientific

Can you be a babel fish?

As fellow fans of Douglas Adams’ ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ will know, the Guide says that if you stick a babel fish in your ear then you can immediately understand any of the languages spoken to you.

Putting a fish in your ear is not be recommended, but perhaps you can use your science writing skills and translate an exciting research paper into language and explanations that people without a scientific background can understand? If you fancy having a go, then Europe PubMed Central’s science writing competition ‘Access to Understanding’ might be just up your street. The competition opened on 11 November and closes for entries on Monday 9 December (it closes at 4pm, so no burning of the late night oil!).

Access to Understanding competition
The Access to Understanding writing competition aims to make scientific knowledge truly accessible by encouraging early-career scientists to write clear, concise and balanced summaries of research findings making them understandable to non-specialists. The winner will receive an iPad and see their entry published in the prestigious open access journal eLife. For more information, please visit the competition website.

The MND Association has supported the competition for the last three years. For us, its an opportunity to promote MND research, perhaps cover the research from a fresh angle that we haven’t reported on our own research blog – its so important to explain what’s going on in MND research to those that are affected. For you, entering a science writing competition will hone your skills for writing successful grants – especially those all important ‘lay summaries’.

About Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC)
Europe PMC ( ) provides a free, single point of access to the 23 million peer-reviewed scientific journal articles indexed by PubMed, and a further 5 million other records including biological patents and NHS clinical guidelines. It also holds in excess of 2.8 million full-text articles, all of which can be freely accessed. Find out who is being funded, to do what, and for how much by searching the list of grants awarded by the Europe PMC funders , now numbering in excess of 40,000 records relating to around 20,000 principal investigators.