Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

Know that we are not alone when we fail

None of us always succeeds. We all fail at some point in something we try to learn anew. If we know this, we know we’re not alone.

What you say and how shapes you and reality

I recently came across a research study about the behavioral effect of two expressions ” I can’t” and ”I don’t” on students. Curiously, those students which were part of the group saying ”I don’t” showed healthier choices than those saying ”I can’t.” The reason for this result is the difference between limitation and choice. When […]

The Secret Ingredient when doing Science

What is the secret ingredient when we develop science? Some might think it is curiosity. Others might be inclined to resilience. Curiosity is a powerful driver imprinting dynamics from question after question, always trying to fulfill the insatiable desire to know. Resilience is a powerful sustainer every time you fail, and for those who do […]

Why being a good scientist when you can keep getting better

People think scientists keep failing until they get it right. I disagree. We keep failing until we know why we get it wrong. There’s no “right” or definitive explanation in science. There is only the next question. This is why I admire the grit, resilience, and belief in people like Elon Musk who continue to […]

Don’t stop when you fail to understand the science

The best thing it may happen while doing science is also the worst. It’s when we realize and say “I don’t understand.” However, not understanding can be of value. We just need to learn how to deal with it. When I read an article outside my field of research, if the underlying science is mathematically-based, […]

Beyond science: a why and the desire to know

People may see science as just facts and figures, equations and numbers, but there’s more than that. In the background, there’s always a “why” and the pursuit of truth through knowledge. For me, this means a philosophy of science may inspire every scientist, that love for wisdom going beyond science itself and seeking a broader view […]

Limitations: the underlying truth in a scientist’s job description

Recently I spoke with an Italian friend about what could be a Job Description for a scientific research position. Here are the qualities that look like limitations: Be ignorant. Ability to deal with failure. Dare to be vulnerable. Yes. Contrary to the perception given by Hollywood movies, these are the qualities needed to be in […]

Saying No to say Yes to the things that matter

It’s difficult for me to say no to people in general, and friends in particular. Most of us like to help whenever we can. But often I experience how saying yes to others is saying no to me and things that matter. But learning how to say no is a difficult task, and it seems […]

Lessons from a blank page experience

When you set yourself to write something, a blank page can intimidate and trigger an unexpected personal crisis. However, what can we learn from experiencing the emptiness of blank pages, supposed to be filled with our thoughts, ideas, and knowledge? One day I spent almost an hour staring at a blank screen. My purpose was to write a […]

How can you overcome the fear of public speaking

Throughout the year we have conferences where researchers present their work. Maybe you find yourself in that position right now. Master students finish their thesis and the presentation is until the end of July, or in September. PhD Students may go through a similar process. Whatever the reason, there is always a fear of presenting […]