. Fail Better
. PASSIOINVENTA. 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract
I tried to hide my embarrassment and frustration, but I’m sure my averted gaze and nervous fidgeting made it obvious that I had bad news to share.
I’d been a member of the lab for a few months but, looking at the state of the project, you might not have guessed that. Progress had been slow, and I now had to report to my mentor not only that I’d failed again to get our experiment working, but also that I’d broken over a thousand dollars-worth of equipment with one clumsy mistake. I managed to get the words out with a flimsy stoicism and prepared myself for reprimand.
He gave me a look that was somewhere between understanding and amused and said “Happens to everyone! You did good. Just fail better next time.”
. ComSciCon: the virtual experience
. Illinois Grainger College of Engineering News. 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract
ComSciCon is a competitive three-day science communication workshop created by graduate students for graduate students. The goal of this workshop is to help graduate students build science communication skills to effectively communicate their work with people across a variety of fields, as well as with the public. This year, the conference took place virtually. A few weeks before the conference officially began, all attendees participated in a Write-a-Thon. For this, we had to write a 600-800-word original piece of scientific writing, along with a freelance pitch for the article. The idea was to take something such as your research or a scientific concept and make it accessible to a target audience of your choice. Steffel CN
. Why Science Communication is Critical to Medical Physics
. The Voice of Radiology Blog. 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The summer before my senior year of undergrad, I was combing through the course catalog, hoping to add more than quantum mechanics to my schedule, when I discovered the Department of Medical Physics at my university.
I, like so many others, had discovered medical physics by chance.
. Ice, heat, science, and acting
. The Journal of Stories in Science. 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract
On a scorching hot, dry summer day in inland Southern California, I found myself walking into a small, dimly lit room that was situated above a bail bonds shop. The building felt like it had been there forever. The walls were lined with a myriad of playbill posters and photos from Shakespeare productions. A large bookcase was filled to the brim with worn copies of plays and books. In the center of the room were two short rows of chairs facing the far wall, where there was a small setup of two handheld cameras and chairs facing each other. I was handed a short script, told to read it only once and then wait for my turn to do a “cold read” of the scene with my partner.
Grizzell JA, Hariharan J, Limper C, Sanchez A
. For scientists across the country, #ShutDownSTEM stirs a mix of emotions
. CASW Newsroom. 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract
For many academics, news of a one-day strike from labs and classrooms arrived just a day or two before the event itself—“probably because so few [senior faculty/administrators] are active on social media,” said Bret Eshman, a postdoctoral fellow at Florida International University. “That’s how I found out about it on Tuesday.”
The following day, June 10, protests against racial discrimination and violence entered the ivory tower, spread by Twitter hashtags like #ShutDownSTEM, #ShutDownAcademia, #BlackInTheIvory, and #Strike4BlackLives. Organized by a group of physicists, #ShutDownSTEM asked for the suspension of all non-essential work in favor of open dialogue, education, and action to eradicate anti-Black racism within research and academia.
. 150 Food Science Questions Answered: Cook Smarter, Cook Better
. Rockridge Press; 2020 pp. 198. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Cooking isn’t just an art, it’s a science―150 fascinating food facts to make you a better cook
Does cold water come to a boil faster than warm water? Why does fat taste so good? What makes popcorn pop? Most of the processes that occur during cooking are based on principles found in biology, chemistry, and physics. 150 Food Science Questions Answered is an intriguing look into the science of food, from the eyes of a food science Ph.D. candidate and recipient of the James Beard Legacy Scholarship.
Tsang M-Y, Inagaki F
. Microbial Life Deep Under the Seafloor—A Story of Not Giving Up
. Frontiers for Young Minds. 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Below the seafloor are trillions of single-celled microbial life. Marine sediments bury these microorganisms deeper and deeper. Meanwhile, the microorganisms face increasing pressures and temperatures and reduced amounts of food and water. Although they are living in difficult conditions, these microorganisms stay alive and maintain their communities. To date, we know that these microbial communities can survive for millions of years, at 2.5 km below the seafloor, and at temperatures over 100°C. Scientists use multiple approaches to study these fascinating microorganisms.
Chu H, Sankovitz M
. Our experience at ComSciCon: the perspectives of two entomology Ph.D. students
. SciComm @ UCR. 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract
ComSciCon is a workshop for graduate students (and organized by graduate students) about communicating complex and technical scientific concepts. ComSciCon attendees interact with professional communicators and build lasting networks with graduate students in science and engineering fields from across the US and Canada. There is one flagship workshop per year and multiple chapter workshops all over the continent. Entomology Ph.D. students Hannah Chu and Madison Sankovitz attended the flagship workshop in different years and share their experiences here!
. Genetics graduate student enhances science communication skills at regional conference
. The Newstand of Clemson University. 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract
College of Science graduate student Rebecca MacPherson, a member of professor Trudy Mackay’s research group, conducts genetics-based research that could someday translate into new approaches for treating children born with fetal alcohol syndrome. She’s also an advocate for increasing science literacy and sharing her results with the public.
On March 12-13, MacPherson was among 50 graduate students from the Southeast region who participated in the invitation-only ComSciCon-Atlanta 2020 conference at the University of Georgia, where she polished her multimedia, writing, and oral communication skills through interactions with professional science communicators and like-minded graduate students.
. ComSciCon returns to Virginia Tech
. Virginia Tech Daily. 2020. Publisher's VersionAbstract
If you’ve ever seen the award-winning nature documentary called "Planet Earth," you have experienced science communication at its finest. With strong science communication, scientists are able to capture the imagination, re-establish trust with the public, and spark meaningful discussions that give science a stronger presence in our society.
On Feb. 27 and 28, graduate students and communicators came together to strengthen their science communication abilities at the second annual ComSciCon–Virginia Tech.
ComSciCon is a workshop series that gives young researchers the necessary skills to communicate their scientific research to broad and diverse audiences.