Note: I’m pausing this newsletter while I wrap up my PhD, and will be back around February.
What is this newsletter about?
This is a weekly newsletter to keep you updated with great new scientific research. Usually, this will be a list of new studies put into context. Occasionally, it will be an overview of a topic I've been following in depth.
Why am I writing this?
Science helps us make sense of the world around us, and scientific knowledge has helped people make the world a better place. But a lot of great research gets overshadowed in the news by flashy, low-quality studies, which makes it hard to know what to believe.
So, here are some things I aim to do with this newsletter:
Explain what makes research reliable, and when to trust the latest finding reported in the news or the established consensus in a field
Highlight great advances in scientific knowledge that researchers have uncovered from careful work over many years
Show how this knowledge can improve people’s lives
I care a lot about research integrity, which means I'll focus on high quality studies and in fields I'm familiar with (such as medicine, infectious disease, genetics, psychiatry, psychology). That’s an aim, rather than a guarantee – if I make any mistakes or miss anything important, I definitely want you to let me know.1
I have no plans to monetise this newsletter – it will remain free.
If you’d like to support causes I care about, I highly recommend donating to any of these:
GiveWell – which funds charities that make a big difference to people’s lives by providing them with malaria nets and treatment, vitamin A supplements, and more.
Evidence Action – which provides clean water dispensers that prevent diarrhoeal diseases and reduce infant deaths, and treatment to remove parasitic worms that can be debilitating.
Ukraine – to support their medical supplies, defence and efforts to rebuild.
And of course, you can also support me by sharing this newsletter with your friends.
A little about me
Currently, I'm juggling a bunch of different roles.
I'm a researcher at Our World in Data, where I write about global health. I'm a founding editor of Works in Progress, where I recruit and work with authors for our quarterly magazine. I'm a contributing editor at Stripe Press, where I work on book projects. Occasionally, I write about various science topics for online magazines. And finally, I'm a PhD student at the University of Hong Kong and King's College London, where I look at how differences in study design influence research findings in the field of psychiatric genetics.
Outside of work, I enjoy photography, birdwatching, long walks, museums, film noir, silly gameshows and eating doughnuts.