Sunday, December 11, 2011

2012 Science in the News Auditions

We kicked off our Spring 2012 series of Science in the News (SITN) a couple of weeks ago with auditions.

About SITN
SITN began at Harvard, with the goal of bringing science to the public in a manner that is interesting and easily understood. We founded our own version last year, and had a successful series of talks in the Spring of 2011. Each talk has three 15-20 minute segments that tie into an overall, cohesive theme that the public will find relevant and appealing. For example, one night was "Getting Shot May Save Your Life: How Vaccines Work." Our focus is on getting grad students and post docs to speak to the public about a hot topic they feel comfortable with in an engaging and accessible manner.

Auditions – What we were looking for
Three rounds of auditions were held this year in the last weeks of November. We asked all interested participants to prepare a 5 minute talk with sample slides, assuming a high school level of education for the target audience. 

We looked for:
  • Clear, concise content. (No jargon, please.)
  • Interesting and eye-catching slides
  • Dynamic and engaging presentation style
  • Ability to keep to the 5 minute time limit

Our speakers and topics for 2012!
We had an amazing turnout of individuals passionate and excited about bringing science to the public. Post auditions, we decided on our speakers after much deliberation and heated discussion. It was truly tough to choose amongst all those who spoke. Our final decisions were based largely on topics we thought would be the most interesting rather than capabilities of the speaker, since they were all wonderful. We hope to see all those who will not be speaking this spring at next year’s auditions.

The speakers we finally chose are a fantastic bunch of engaging individuals, who managed to bring their topic to life within the short five minutes we gave them to impress us.

Our speakers will be talking about six broad topics: Neuroscience, Evolution, Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence, Outbreaks, and Dinosaurs.

SITN 2012 – When, Where, What time?
Talks will be held at 6pm on the last Tuesday of every month starting in January at the New Haven Public Library, which has kindly agreed to host us. Specific dates to keep in mind: January 31st, February 28th, March 27th, April 24th, May 29th, and June 26th.

It is truly heartwarming to see so many people enthusiastic about communicating what they love to do to the public. SITN 2012 is going to be a wonderful experience. We hope to see you there!

-Sneha Ramesh Mani,
3rd Year PhD Candidate, Cell Biology
Co-Chair, Science in the News Committee

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