The Beginning

My journey began in Istanbul, Turkey, where I was born and raised. As a child, I was incredibly curious, constantly asking questions and exploring the world around me. I loved taking apart toys to understand how they worked, even if it meant breaking them in the process. I also enjoyed “inventing” things, such as magnetic levitating CDs and automatic opening toy garage doors. I conducted various “scientific experiments,” such as counting cells in leaves and mixing highlighter ink with water to make fluorescent ice that could be seen in the dark.



High School Years

In high school, I discovered a passion for acting and theater. I adapted a screenplay of a famous play (Haybeden Gerçeküstü Aşk), directed it , designed light and sound, and played one of the characters myself.



Flight Simulation Teacher

In addition to acting, I was also interested in virtual aviation. I completed training as a virtual pilot and virtual air traffic controller in IVAO and VATSIM. In 2010, I coordinated and lectured a course on virtual aviation for high school students, which was the first of its kind in the country. Since 2011, I have been teaching private lessons, virtual aviation, and simulator-aided pilot training courses in various schools and universities.



Started College

Later, I re-discovered a passion for knowing and science. I believe the deviation from reason and science is one of the foremost calamities that humanity faces today. My curiosity for human behavior and mind led me to pursue psychology. In pursuit of this passion, I moved to Ankara to study at Middle East Technical University (METU), in one of the best psychology departments in the country. The ability to learn to read and write is the first and most important skill that humans must acquire, as it opens the door to learning almost everything else. Scientific literacy, in this sense, is the second millennium. Scientific literacy gives people the ability to distinguish between correct and incorrect information, and I learned this skill at METU.



My first book

I wrote a virtual aviation textbook in Turkish, “Sanal Pilot (Virtual Pilot),” which was published in 2014. The book has been updated multiple times since then, and the 6th edition is now available. The renowned American flight instructor Rod Machado wrote the foreword for the book, saying, “If you enjoy flying or learning about flying, then you are going to benefit from this wonderful new book by Mr. Cevdet Acarsoy. Sanal Pilot is an exciting and practical educational contribution for those desiring to participate in the world of both real and virtual aviation.” I also teach a 4.5-hour course called “Introduction to Virtual Aviation” on Udemy.com, which has reached over 5000 students from 53 different countries. The course covers topics such as aviation history, physics, meteorology, aerodynamics, air traffic control, and simulation software for beginners.



Created YouTube Channel

I have been conducting science communication activities since 2014. I founded the “PsikoSeyir (PsychWatch)” project, a YouTube channel featuring animated explainer videos on psychology subfields and interviews with experts, aimed at informing the Turkish public about psychological science and debunking myths.



Erasmus Exchange

I went to Groningen, Netherlands as an exchange student for a semester in 2015. The Netherlands’ culture of science and free-thinking impressed me greatly.



B.Sc. in Psychology

METU’s Psychology Department, founded in 1959, has a rich tradition of science, a research-based educational environment, competent faculty members, and research opportunities, which greatly contributed to achieving my academic and scientific goals. During my undergraduate education, which began in 2011, I took advantage of the experiences and accumulated knowledge of the instructors who had adopted different therapy approaches. This helped me develop the ability to think outside the box and synthesize different perspectives. Additionally, I coordinated and was the lecturer of simulator-aided piloting course for 4 years at the department of aerospace engineering of METU.



Moved to Leiden, Netherlands

After completing my undergraduate degree, in 2017, I moved to another beautiful Dutch city of Leiden. There, I applied for the Leiden Excellence Scholarship and was fortunate enough to be among the 50 selected candidates. I was admitted to the Clinical Psychology masters programme at Leiden University, the oldest university in the Netherlands.



M.Sc. in Clinical Psychology

During my master’s degree, I was able to combine my passion for research with my interest in clinical practice. I participated in various research projects, where we used Electroencephalography (EEG) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to understand the neuroscientific mechanisms underlying psychological disorders. I also received extensive training in therapeutic skills, clinical assessment, and cognitive behavioural interventions.
I was particularly interested in fMRI scanning and showed a great deal of success in this area. So much so that I was able to obtain my own scan certificate, which allowed me to scan independently in the fMRI scanner of Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC).



Co-founded Science Communication Platform

In 2018, I co-founded the “Gelecek Bilimde (Future is Science)” science communication platform. This platform works as a community of volunteers collectively producing popular science articles, social media content (Twitter, Instagram, TikTok), e-mail newsletters, social responsibility projects, YouTube videos, and Twitch live streams. With these efforts, we hope to bridge the gap between academia and society, increase trust in science, and promote critical thinking.



Researcher & Lecturer

After completing my master’s degree (cum laude) in 2018, I started working at the psychology department of Leiden University. I was a researcher in the Brain and Development Lab, where I worked on multiple fMRI studies. In addition, I lectured various courses at the department of psychology as a workgroup instructor.



Started PhD

In 2020, I started my PhD in epidemiology at Erasmus University Medical Center (Erasmus MC). I have been working on several projects with Prof. Kamran Ikram and Dr. Daniel Bos, which aim to unravel the causes and consequences of migraine in the general population. During my PhD, I designed studies, formed collaborations, analyzed vast amounts of pre-collected data, and wrote research papers to communicate findings.



Started working as therapist

In addition to my academic work, I have been working as a psychotherapist since 2021. I completed International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST) approved Schema Therapy training and I am currently in the supervision phase towards obtaining a schema therapist license. I also completed EMDR Europe approved EMDR Therapy Level 1 training. I continue conducting therapy sessions with my clients in my own practice called Sanus Psychology in Leiden.



Co-founded Science Communication Committee

In 2021, I co-founded the Science Communication Committee in the Department of Epidemiology at Erasmus Medical Center to raise awareness of the importance of science communication. The committee organizes workshops and seminars on diverse topics and offers assistance in presentation and communication activities.



M.Sc. in Epidemiology

During the first two years of my PhD, I also completed another master’s degree, this time in epidemiology at the Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences (NIHES). The program included extensive courses on medical decision making, research methods, biostatistics, biases in scientific practice, and causal inference.

2022 – 2023


Science Communication Lecturer

In 2022, I lectured several science communication courses in Minor: From Science to Society offered in Medicine Faculty of Erasmus University Rotterdam, where I covered graphic design, website creation, and improvisational theatre methods in presenting YouTube for science. In 2023, I taught videography in the NIHES MSc elective LLS12: Science Communication.



To be continued….