Current Book Recommendations

All, science communication

DSCF6132 (3)Recently, I found that I’ve been reading less than I used to. It’s always been one of my favourite things to do, so to inspire both myself and hopefully some of you to dust those books off the bookshelf, here are some of my favourite books right now!

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Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Some of you may already know, I am a big fan of Amy Poehler. Her work, her voice and her honesty really speak to me. This book is the epitome of all three. She is down to earth and speaks frankly and light-heartedly about things that we all think, yet sometimes don’t say. Whether it be about who we are, what we want to do or who we want to be with – Amy dishes out some real life advice from her own experiences.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This novel is a classic. Set in 19th Century England, it centres around the lives of the Bennet sisters, in particular Elizabeth Bennet. I’m one of those people that tends to forget the details once I complete a book, so I love having this one on hand to re-read it all over again. Also, I have a soft spot for Mr Darcy..

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The Hands-On Guide for Science Communicators by Lars Lindberg Christensen

This book is slightly different to those previously mentioned. Written by my former boss from my time at the European Southern Observatory, it is a great guide to science communication. The foundations of communicating scientific concepts are explored in the book, illustrated by graphics which concisely present the information in a colourful way. I’d recommend this for not only those new to the field, but also experienced science communicators out there. 

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The Picture of Dorian Gray

The first time I got my hands on this book I was around 15. I found it in my parent’s house and in an attempt to try something more mature, I gave it a try. Needless to say, I didn’t really understand a lot of the philosphical elements back then. But, now at the ripe ‘old’ age of 24, this book is one that I think anyone can read and gain something from. It’s quite a dense piece of literature and can be slow at times, however the character of Dorian Gray is so different to others I think it is worth the read.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Usually, I like to read the original book before watching the movie version of a story. This was a rare exception. I caught the movie on my flight home from Canada last year and immediately knew I had to read the book. I was not dissapointed. Let’s just say, you will not have a dry eye when reading this one. It’s a very heartwarming and touching storyline for all ages. I also like the fact that my new home of the Netherlands makes an appearance in the book too!

What are your favourite books right now? Let me know and I’d love to give them a try 🙂



5 Wonderful Women’s Day Initiatives

All, female empowerment

It’s Women’s Day this Sunday 8th March and the social-sphere has been honouring women of greatness in the week leading up to the big day. I’ve noticed my newsfeed full of a number of different organisations and individuals creatively communicating their favourite women in technology, science, business, as well as a plethora of other fields of work.

I like any excuse to celebrate innovative people — whether it be a man or a woman — however, with the notable gender gap still a work-in-progress, I do think that there are not enough female role models in positions of power that are readily available for girls to look up to. Yes, they exist. So, let’s get to know them, and aspire for greatness too!

I’ve selected five of my favourite recent homages to women. These are initiatives (and one person) that I personally like and that I find approach gender equality as a celebration of not only women in particular, but as a celebration of being yourself and to do it well.

Marie-Claude Guérard, Chief Financial Officer. (Credits: CSA)

Marie-Claude Guérard,
Chief Financial Officer. (Credits: CSA)

1) The Canadian Space Agency’s Humans of CSA – This is a novel take on the infamous Brandon Stanton’s ‘Humans of New York’ project. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) shares insights of women working in a variety of roles and shine a spotlight onto not only what they do for a living but also on who they are as a person outside of the workplace. I particularly liked the feature on Marie-Claude Guérard (right) and her quote:

“When I was young, my ambition was to become a boss…Now that I am a boss, what motivates me is working with people who are always ready to outdo themselves. That inspires me. My greatest satisfaction is when we succeed at something together.”


2)’s #LeanInTogether – Launched on 5th May, #LeanInTogether takes the conversation on equality from women, to men, as we lean in together. This particular initiative by the Lean In organisation is focused on the important role that men play in reaching gender equality. When men support women at work and at home, we all benefit. Women around the world are sharing posts of their husbands, fathers, brothers and more as they celebrate the men in their lives who are leaning in. I particularly like Reese Witherspoon’s Instagram post (below) of her husband and son.

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3) Emma Watson’s Q&A – The English Rose is already a notable face for gender equality as a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women and founder of the inspiring HeForShe campaign. For Emma Watson, every day is women’s day. This Sunday 8th March she will be answering questions on gender equality in a live Facebook Q&A session to honour the worldwide Women’s Day celebrations.

4) Mindy Kaling – Okay, so technically this isn’t an initiative, but I couldn’t do a post on Women’s Day without including the funny woman herself. A confident, hard-working, quirky, Indian woman from the US, Mindy Kaling writes, produces and stars in her own television show, The Mindy Project (obviously one of my favourites). Pretty impressive. Screenshot_2015-03-05-07-46-30 (2)Mindy is also a great advocate of gender equality and owning who you are as an individual. I like her quote on making your own future, shared by another wonderful company also bridging the gender gap, Goldieblox.

5) Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls – This is a year-round online community that encourages women to be the best versions of themselves. Whether that means volunteering, working hard for that promotion, founding your own start-up or developing your own voice in the world – Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls is a space to inspire and empower. Founded by funny-woman and another wonderful feminist, Amy Poehler, she often answers ‘Ask Amy’ questions (one of my favourites is here) where she talks from the heart and gives advice to young women on life, love, careers and more. With the motto ‘Change the World By Being Yourself’, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls is a wonderful place for both women and men to learn and grow into who they want to become.


Happy International Women’s Day!

– Nikita