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.

Monday, August 26, 2013

From Their Perspective

Most of us know the old adage “know thy audience.”  The critical question is slightly different - what does your audience want? 

I recently participated in a discussion on science communication, moderated by Gail Scowcroft of Discovery of Sound in the Sea (I highly recommend their website - more about them in future posts). Ms. Scowcraft defined three classes of audience member that we might interact with during a talk (or for written communication): learners, stakeholders, and the media.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Vancouver Washington Toastmasters Club

Live in the Vancouver, WA area?  Want to practice your communication and leadership skills?  There's a new Toastmasters International chapter forming in the north end of town.  We meet every Monday from 7-8 PM at the Salmon Creek Burgerville. This Monday (8/26/13) is an open house where we showcase the Toastmasters program and how it benefits members.  Come early to get a seat!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Blogging from the Deep

I just got back from a conference on the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life in beautiful Budapest, Hungary. The focus, of course, was underwater noise…noise produced by boat traffic, or bridge construction, or the animals themselves, and how this noise effects marine mammals, fish, and aquatic invertebrates.

My next several blog posts will highlight themes in science communication that came to light during this conference, either as issues raised by conference participants, or as items I noted as an attendee (and presenter). I also hope to feature blog entries from guest bloggers that I met at the conference – I’m not the only one thinking about communication!