FacesofScience.nl, an initiative by the KNAW and Nemo Kennislink gives visitors a glimpse into the life of a researcher through blogs, videos and articles. The aim is to put PhD students from different fields in the spotlight and to show young people who are faced with a choice of what to study after high school what it is like to be a scientist.

With topics such as the formation of huge stars, the difference in well-being among young people, North Korea's support for African liberation movements and the belief in the divine power of amulets, twelve PhD students will report on their daily work in videos and blogs. One of these students is AR&D PhD student in epidemiology and pediatrics at the Amsterdam University Medical Center, Sarai Keestra (24). Over the next year she will show what her life as a scientist looks like and tell us about her research on the impact of the early life environment on the thyroid gland and the early development of the brain.

With an AR&D grant awarded to Prof. Velja Mijatovic in 2021, a team of neuroscientists, gynecologists, pediatricians, and epidemiologists is currently conducting a follow-up study of a clinical trial that took place in 2012-2014. When women have trouble conceiving, a hysterosalpingography (HSG) is a standard fertility diagnostic used to visualize any blockages of the Fallopian tubes. The original H2Oil trial found that more women conceive when they receive the oil-based contrast during an HSG. Sarai is currently travelling throughout the Netherlands investigate if the use of iodinated contrast in this procedure has any long-term consequences for the neurocognitive development of offspring, now age 6-9 years. She will report on her research on FacesofScience.nl.

The blogs are of interest to anyone interested in science. And they help students in high school who are faced with a choice of study to get a realistic picture of what it is like to work in academia. The blogs can be read on FacesofScience.nl.