Synapse Blossoms this Spring

Monday, March 28, 2016

An optimist is the human personification of spring. -Susan J. Bissonettel

As an eternal optimist, I’m pleased as editor in chief to report on Synapse’s progress over the previous quarter as well as what’s in store for the coming spring quarter.

This quarter, we introduced a new advice column, replacing the previous MamaM with an edgier advice giver, Ray, who’s new column Rant along with Ray, invites readers to blow off steam with a space to voice their grief and grievances.

We also launched a new column about ethics in the medical profession — Ethical Brain Teasers — which gathers student input on an ethical question.

Synapse will also start to feature articles from the newly established science communication group, Neuwrite, as part of our new collaboration.

And last but not least, we just published a teaser for our newest column, Life After UCSF, which will feature the stories of UCSF alumni pursuing different, particularly non-academic tracks.

Our top five most popular pieces of the quarter were:

  1. $4,000 for Incoming Students to Offset Housing costs
    Apparently, students love hearing about money- the new relocation allocation bonus of $4000 garnered 1,260 hits - probably mostly students from the graduate division wishing they were part of the incoming class of 2016.

  2. Genome Editing Opens up Brave New World got 1,025 hits. Jennifer Doudna, who the article features is the closest thing science has to a bona-fide rock star, and stardom, even of the science variety translates into clicks.

  3. Muni money, maybe? With 726 hits it’s clear that transportation and housing remain of utmost priority to students. While we don’t have solutions, at least Ray gives us an opportunity to hear our rants voiced.

  4. Hacking cells to prevent Obesity: With 506 reads, students at UCSF seem solidly interested in some of the research going on at our institution. Also, by Max Coyle who writes the things our audience likes to read.

  5. Ready to Meet your Match Match day is one day that strikes fear or joy into the heart of 4th year medical students everywhere. At least 472 students wanted to read about current 4th year student’s opinions on impending match day.

Finally, I’m pleased to report that compared the winter quarter of 2015, Synapse had 25% more hits this winter. As your editor-in-chief, I look forward to the promise of new content of all types in the coming spring.

In the meantime, anyone with story ideas or yearning to contribute is encouraged to email or submit your fully formed articles to our website at