Talking Science

By Michael Edmonds 21/07/2011 2


The youtube clip below covers some useful points about delivering science presentations.


2 Responses to “Talking Science”

  • The “bar raised” subject is very true. Scientists should incorporate the slogan “engage or fade” to their famous “publish or perish” one.

    Be at science conferences or departmental presentations, doodling and dozing off are rather normal activities seem around. Some of the parodic scenes shown in this clip are alarmingly common among science speakers.

    A former Japanese supervisor of mine used a simple and humble technique to help his students create efficient presentations: He used to invite the lab janitor to our pre-conference presentations. After each presentation, our supervisor would ask the janitor for his comments. If the janitor didn’t like them or was unable to understand, it was “back to the drawing board” until the janitor got them right.

    Some might say that was a bit drastic or unnecessary. Nevertheless, my former supervisor believed (as he still does) it was thanks to the janitor’s tax money that we, scientists, were able to do get grants and do research. We owe our jobs to the janitor. And if we were unable to explain what we do at the lab to him, don’t bother explaining to your peers. You don’t owe them anything.

    I learned a lot from this clip and would gladly recommend it to my colleagues.

  • Cris Felipe Alves

    Thanks for sharing your story about the janitor. I think that is a clever approach, and while others may not have a janitor on hand showing work to family and friends and asking their honest opinion might be a similar approach.