Featured Eyewirer: @nopasaran


A behind the scenes look at the Eyewire community.

Meet the Eyewirers who are mapping the brain. Today’s featured Eyewirer is @nopasaran.

Introduce yourself!

My name is Christophe, I live near Nancy, in France, and I’m a PhD graduate in sciences. I used to work in a laboratory but now I tutor in sciences, computer basics or maths… in short, anything except English. I enjoy working this way as it enables me to trace as many cubes as possible for EW. Moreover I can go hiking or do craft activities with my wife. I also take care of our home and cook.

My username means “you shall not pass”. Mergers take heed of this advice!

Why do you play Eyewire?

I’m very interested in the concepts of “scientific citizen” and “serious games”. I’ve played several scientific games such as Fold-it, EteRNA and Zooniverse project. Between 2010 and 2014, I got particularly involved in Fold-it as a member of “l’Alliance Francophone”. My best achievement was to join the solo players top 10 of the game (only for few hours…). Yet, in this game, I started to get weary of excessive competition between teams and players. To take a break in this competitive way of playing, I started playing EW that seemed to have a more collaborative gameplay. At first, I played few, I wasn’t at ease with the game, then other players helped me to progress and a guy named Nseraf encouraged me to become a Scout. In the end, I quit playing Fold-it. Time passed and I’m a Scythe now.

I’ve realized that being a Scythe is so different from being a player. It’s very important to me to get the best trace without missing parts or mergers. Whenever I trace, I feel completely involved. When I was only a player, it was really frustrating not to be able to modify a trace even if a branch was obviously missing or if something was wrong. I want to thank the HQ for creating a role as Scythe and for the confidence they have in our abilities. Even if players are essential, I might have gotten bored of just being a player.

After my PhD, I’ve had few postdoctoral positions. Then I took a competitive exam, unfortunately I was second and there was only one job vacancy. After that, I wouldn’t read about sciences : thanks to EW I’ve kept in touch with sciences and I’ve met friendly people.

How did you discover Eyewire?

When I was doing research work, I had to do scientific monitoring about my subject but also about scientific news topics. I discovered EW in one of the reviews I was following. When I read the article “Help scientists help make discoveries about the neural structure of the retina” in Scientific American, published in February 2012, I decided to join and try the game.

Share a story that helps the world get to know you.

When I was a child, I spent my holidays at my grandparents who lived in the Hautes Alpes (South-East of France). Most of the time, I was digging for fossils or hammering rocks to find crystals. I also was passionate about building flood barriers in the mountain stream nearby. Mountains formation intrigued me and I was fascinated by these splendid landscapes. At home, there was a beautiful encyclopedia, I liked to read it again and again.  Articles about geology were my favorites. No wonder why I chose to follow this path for my studies. Then came university education, where I studied geology but also physical-chemistry and finally chemistry. In this respect, I was pleasantly surprised and happy to discover that our names were associated to EW’s last publication. To me it was a small personal victory.

Anything else you’d like to add?

We might have the opportunity to meet IRL, to hike together, to speak about geology or neurosciences and share a made-by-myself meal. Oups, by the way,… gotta go, … I’ve got something cooking!

Would you like to be a featured Eyewirer? Submit your questionnaire here:

Featured Eyewirer Questionnaire

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