About Me

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I'm an assistant professor of neuroscience at Washington State University in Vancouver, where I use tiny zebrafish (the size of an eyelash!) as a model system to study human hearing loss and how we can prevent it. I'm also a long-time Toastmaster and I teach communication workshops. This blog represents the merging of my two passions - science and communication, which has really become one central passion - the science of communication. There's a revolution in science right now...the idea that we scientists should sometimes leave the lab and talk about what we do, and why we do it, to real people. This blog looks at why we should do this, and how to actually talk about science with non-scientists (and with each other!). Portions of this blog are also featured on Qualia, the AAAS MemberCenter blog site.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Preparing for an upcoming talk: what do I need to know?

On April 7th I’m giving a public talk before a performance of the San Diego Symphony featuring solo percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie (feel free to stop by if you’re in the area!).  This gives me a good opportunity to discuss some of the things I try to plan in advance of a talk, particularly one in a new venue where I have limited information prior to the event.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Step out!

We scientists love to hide behind our data…”the data shows”, “our data suggests”.  When we give talks, we also love to hide behind the lectern, again letting the data speak for itself.  But if you’re reading this blog, you know (at least I hope you know!) that the data doesn’t speak for itself.  It’s up to us to do the talking, the inspiring, the explaining.  And in order to inspire, to explain, we must connect with our audience.