Intro to Science: Critical Thinking in Every Day Life

A Talk by Dr. Niki Athanasiadou, Ph.D.


Is climate change really threatening us? Are vaccines more harmful than good?

Over centuries of experience, breakthroughs and setbacks, humankind has developed an approach, the scientific method, that aims to illuminate the mysteries of the natural world and offers a useful framework for critical thinking. While we are increasingly saturated with information, whether from a Google search, a Wiki article or a blog post, it’s tough to discern fact from fiction:  Should you avoid GMOs? Is addiction a disease? What is the difference between data-based evidence and opinion-based elaborations? In this informative and entertaining talk, Niki will explain how to get your facts right in any topic, and give you the skills to know when you should trust Dr. Google and when you shouldn’t.


Dr. Niki Athanasiadou, Ph.D., is a research scientist at New York University. Niki graduated from the School of Biology at Aristotle’s University of Thessaloniki (Greece), was awarded a Master of Research with distinction from the University of York (UK), and received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Edinburgh (UK). Alongside other fellowships and awards, she has received The Young Biochemist Award from the British Biochemical Society. Outside of the laboratory Niki is a passionate advocate for science outreach. She has written articles for the public about genome sequencing, and was a guest in the podcast “Data Skeptic” discussing personalized medicine. A competent public speaker, Niki aims to bring an understanding of the scientific method and teach critical thinking skills through talks, classes, and workshops she organizes in collaboration with various non-profits.  

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