What is this newsletter about?

This is a 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 research, 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), and explain why I find them credible.

These are aims, rather than a guarantee – if I make any mistakes or miss anything important, I definitely want you to let me know.

Supporting me

I have no plans to monetise this newsletter – it will remain free.

If you’d like to support causes I care about, I 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 diarrheal diseases and reduce infant deaths, and treatment to remove parasitic worms that can be debilitating.

  • Your local blood drive (UK, US) – blood is vital to many patients, has a short shelf-life and is often in need.

  • 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.

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A little about me

I’m a researcher on global health at Our World in Data. I’m also a founding editor of Works in Progress, where I recruit and work with authors for our quarterly magazine. Occasionally, I write about various science topics for online magazines and publications.

My background is a mix of biomedical sciences, genetics, epidemiology and psychiatry. I recently completed a PhD at The University of Hong Kong and King’s College London, where my thesis focused on differences in study design and how they can influence results in the field of psychiatric genetics.

Outside of work, I enjoy photography, birdwatching, long walks, museums, film noir, silly gameshows and eating doughnuts.

Contact me

Here are some ways to get in touch with me:

  • If you’re a subscriber, you can directly press reply to a Substack post you receive by email

  • You can find me on Twitter at @salonium (where my DMs are open)

  • You can find me on Mastodon at @salonium@fediscience.org, or on Threads at @saloni.n.d

  • You can email me at saloni@ourworldindata.org

If you’re a(n aspiring) science writer or blogger and this newsletter has inspired you, say hello :) And in case you’re interested, we’re often on the lookout for new authors to publish at Works in Progress.

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A newsletter to keep you updated with great new scientific research.

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Saloni Dattani

Thinking and writing about science. Researcher at Our World in Data. Founder & editor at Works in Progress.