Sze Huei (Zoe) Yek, PhD.
Health & Science Communicator
for Health Professionals and Scientists
Hi, I’m Sze Huei (Zoe).
I’m a health and a science communicator for busy health professionals and research scientists!
I translate complex scientific and medical concepts into fun, clear, and concise articles that everyone can relate to and learn from.
The funny thing is, I did not start up to be a health and science communicator for the general public. I started up wanting to be an Academic Scientist that discovers the wonders of biological diversity around us.
As a scientist and an academic writer, I am good at understanding and assessing evidence-based research and then writing about my findings in peer-reviewed journals. Commonly, these are articles that are only read by the experts in a specific field.
I am also skilled at giving talks to other experts in my field. What I lacked was experience writing and talking to a broader audience of non-scientists.
As I became more adept doing research, I became worse at communicating science to my family and friends. Whenever I am at home or going to social gatherings with my friends from outside my lab, I was often frustrated with my inability to tell my story.
Oh, the other thing that I am often being asked to do is fact-check some miracle cures that they read about on the internet or other news outlets. By the way, I am not a Medical Doctor, but being a Biologist means you know about everything and anything in human biology and medicine (go figure!).
That’s when I realised that I could be more useful serving as the bridge between science and the general public. What is the use of a scientific breakthrough if the remaining 98% of the world’s population never hears about it?
The more I was asked to talk about my research or to assess the science behind health and medical content, the more I realise that this is EXACTLY what I should do with my life as a Scientist. Hence, my ‘Science and Health for You’ website was born.
I have a PhD in Evolutionary Biology (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), a MSc in Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour (University of Texas, Austin, USA), a Graduate Diploma in Tropical Zoology (James Cook University, Australia) and a BSc in Biochemistry (Tunku Abdul Rahman College, Malaysia). I know it’s a pretty long list, but trust me, that is typical for an academic career scientist.
I have also two postdoctoral researcher experiences (University of Pretoria, South Africa and University of Lausanne, Switzerland) where I worked on topics such as biological control and social evolution.
Over my academic career, I learnt how to carry out basic and molecular life science research and how to publish in peer-reviewed journals (So far I have 10 publications and counting).
Because of these experiences where I work on different research topics and with researchers from diverse cultures, I have an in-depth understanding of the process involved in science and the quality of research that goes on behind the scenes.
Writing for non-scientists did not come naturally to me. After all, I spent the last decade learning to write technical English but I felt like I was losing the ability to write common English. What I do like is to tell stories and read works by great storytellers.
In late 2016, I got serious about learning to stop only writing like a Scientist. I took a ‘Simple Health & Science Writing‘ course offered by the Health Writer Hub and started writing health and science stories on this website and on my LinkedIn profile.
Nowadays, I combine storytelling techniques with my scientific experience to convey informative, accurate, and clear writing pieces.
Random Facts About Me
- I’ve lived and worked in SIX countries in 5 continents (Asia, Australia, US, Europe and Africa).
- I consider myself a world nomad and don’t be surprised if I can’t tell you where I felt most at home.
- I’m a yoga addict, with a 200-hr teaching certificate under my belt. I occasionally teach for charities, but I like being a student more than a teacher in my yoga practice.
- My ideal working environment consists of part of the time getting my hands and feet dirty in the field.
- I’m a lifelong learner. If I am not learning something new every day, I felt left behind. My learning goal now is to find the story behind the technical publications and write it in a way that gets you excited about science.
- Cooking is not my strong suite, although enjoying good food is! That’s why I have profound respect for Chefs.
- My favourite authors are Haruki Murakami and David Mitchell. I do like the weird and unexplained. They are also great storytellers. My view of this world is there are still discoveries to be made. We do not know everything there is to know!
- One of my passions is empowering public knowledge in science and health, which is why I dedicated myself to become the bridge between scientists and the general public.