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I reckon that every scientist should be able to explain his or her work to any audience, in any situation. Whether it is a 30 second conversation with a six year old with the aid of a pencil and paper, an oral presentation to the general public (a la cafe scientifique), or a detailed effort using all the functionality of Microsoft Powerpoint at a specialist conference, it should be possible to convey meaning to your audience. In fact, if I’m feeling brave, I would go as far as to suggest that if a scientist is unable to do this, it is an indication that he or she does not understand the topic him- or herself.