Samantha Yammine (she/her)
I was born/grew up in: Ontario
I now live in: Toronto, Ontario
I completed my training/education at: I completed a HBSc at University of Toronto (Neuroscience Specialist and Cell & Molecular Biology Major). I went on to complete a PhD at University of Toronto studying how stem cells build and maintain the brain.
What I do at work
I am a Neuroscientist and Science Communicator better known as Science Sam. I run a science-based digital production business named Science Sam Media. I use social media to help make science more familiar, accessible and inclusive. My main platforms are Instagram and TikTok. Using these tools, I explain complex topics in clear and entertaining ways.
I speak at conferences and host events about science. I once hosted a livestream with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. I’ve presented my research on the streets at Toronto's busiest intersection. I have talked ringside with Muay Thai fighters about performance anxiety. One time, I showcased real brains at 1:00 am in a Yurt during an all-night art festival. As long as it has to do with science, I’m anywhere and everywhere!
I have been a guest Science Correspondent for a variety of shows on Netflix, TVO Kids, CBC GEM, Discovery UK, CBC Radio, and AsapSCIENCE. I sit on the Board of Trustees for RCIScience. I am also on the Advisory Board for the anti-misinformation organization ScienceUpFirst.
My career path is
I've wanted to be a scientist for as long as I can remember. I didn't always know what that meant or what it would look like from day to day. When I got to graduate school for my PhD, I learned and loved it (though it was tough!).
In time, I realized that my favourite part of science was sharing it with others. I also realized that I wanted to see how science could affect people's everyday lives. That's what drew me to science communication.
This is not a place that I ever expected to end up. However, in retrospect it makes perfect sense for me. I never set out to be a science communicator. I just did what I loved (including volunteering for Let's Talk Science), and that led me to the opportunities I have today.
I am motivated by
I have always loved science! Being a science communicator lets me continue learning about so many different areas of science. The best part is that it also gives me the opportunity to empower other people to learn with me. When I get someone, who's not usually interested in science, excited about some random science fact, that's when I am most fulfilled in my career.
How I affect peoples’ lives
Science is for everyone. Science helps us understand more about our world and ourselves. Understanding science helps us make good decisions about everything from your health to politics. By making the process and findings of science more accessible, I empower people to be able to use evidence to make decisions about things that matter to them.
Outside of work I
I like running and playing soccer. I am an avid fan of all forms of drag. I have forgotten most steps of the Kreb's cycle (the process by which most living cells produce energy), but I can tell you who won every season of every franchise of Drag Race.
My advice to others
Stay true to your values and follow your passions. If the career you want doesn't exist: create it!