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BlackLivesMatter and SciComm

June 2, 2020

Scientists and science communicators must denounce systemic racism and police brutality against Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd, and all Black people, and we demand justice. ComSciCon stands in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. #STEM fields have had, and continue to have, a long history of exclusion and violence against BIPOC. This is also true in SciComm.

The leadership at ComSciCon has been reflecting on our own anti-racism efforts and are committed to doing the work to doing better to educate ourselves and those we serve, including at our flagship...

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Bryan Le's book cover (light blue) titled "150 Food Science Questions Answered" with the tagline "Cook smarter, cook better"

ComSciCon18 Alum Bryan Le – A Journey to Book Publication

June 19, 2020

by Bryan Le

I never thought I’d end up as a writer. And yet here I am, publishing my first book about food science in the kitchen.

Like many PhD students, I started off thinking that research was the life for me.

Do experiments. Collect data. Get published. Rinse and repeat.

I was heading into my third year when I realized that the research life was...

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Woman wearing a VR headset

Science Communication in Virtual Worlds

May 22, 2020

by Sasha Kaurov

Many museums and planetariums are struggling under current social distancing policies and will likely continue to be affected for months, if not years. Thus, it might be the time for experiments with engaging audiences by other means. In this post I will discuss how the initiative I started with OmniScope, an organization to explore novel media for science communication, is testing virtual worlds as a tool for bringing the immersive and interactive experiences online to reach audiences around the...

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ComSciCon 2020 is Going Virtual!

May 4, 2020

by Stephanie Hamilton, on behalf of the ComSciCon 2020 Program Organizing Committee

Unprecedented times call for unprecedented solutions...and ComSciCon 2020 will join the wave of virtual conferences now happening as a result of COVID-19. To protect the safety of attendees, invited speakers, and organizers alike, our Flagship conference will be moving online.

We don’t make this decision lightly because we recognize the value and importance of face-to-face interactions, especially in a field...

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In My DNA: How Our Lifestyle Impacts Our Genetic Code

April 23, 2020

by Jessica McAnulty 

Someone who loves to participate in marathons may say “running is in my blood”. Or someone who adores sweets (like myself) may claim “it’s in my DNA”. Individuals have tossed around this saying to help describe their interests. But what if our lifestyles or diets are actually affecting our DNA?

DNA, an abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid, is our genetic makeup. We have thousands of genes coding for proteins and cellular machinery that allow our bodies to function...

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Ellen Brennan presents her poster at the AAAS meeting

ComSciCon-Michigan alum Ellen Brennan knows to just say “Yes, and…” to scientific discovery

April 20, 2020

by Donna McDermott

**Editor's note: This post is part of a series highlighting members of the ComSciCon community who recently attended the AAAS Annual Meeting, which took place from February 13-16, 2020 in Seattle, WA.

Ellen Brennan spent five months poking brain cells with a tiny wire, yet all she had to show for it was a bunch of weird data. “I went through my notebook,” she says, “to find anything worth talking about.” But instead of finding the typical signals of...

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Science Communication allows us to better ‘digest’ all sorts of science

April 16, 2020

by Taran Lichtenberger

**Editor's note: This post is part of a series highlighting members of the ComSciCon community who recently attended the AAAS Annual Meeting, which took place from February 13-16, 2020 in Seattle, WA.**

Edna Chiang, a fourth year microbiology PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studies the gut microbes of hibernating ground squirrels, but the research’s bigger picture is way beyond the...

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Rey Maktoufi stands in front of her poster at AAAS 2020

Rey Maktoufi, PhD: From Space Time Lord to Science Communicator

March 23, 2020

by Catherine Steffel

**Editor's note: This post is part of a series highlighting members of the ComSciCon community who recently attended the AAAS Annual Meeting, which took place from February 13-16, 2020 in Seattle, WA.

Growing up, Reyhaneh (Rey) Maktoufi (@TheCosmicRey) wanted to be a paleontologist. And an astronomer. And a Space Time Lord.

...

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Bridging the Gap from Bench to Bedside

February 28, 2020

by Edna Chiang

**Editor's note: This post is part of a series highlighting members of the ComSciCon community who recently attended the AAAS Annual Meeting, which took place from February 13-16, 2020 in Seattle, WA.

Spinal cord injuries affect ~17,810 people each year in the U.S.1 and can leave surviving patients physically and financially paralyzed for a lifetime. Jessica Chen was researching a treatment for this condition when a car accident left her...

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