Winter / Spring -time

Certainly there has been a great deal of activity other recent months, everything from seminars, presentations, editing, science, new equipment, to schools engagement events.

This could rapidly turn into a list of events so I will pull out just three, seminars, editing and schools engagement…

My experience with giving 2010 presentations began with an in-house seminar to the department, which though on the face of it is daunting, it was actually excellent for taking stock of past, current and future work.  From the talk I received good feedback, though by running overtime I did limit questioning opportunities.  The solution is more timing practice and less text heavy slides, although as this was my first such presentation (an introductory talk) the next one can be more tightly focused.  This led fairly swiftly to an appearance at an event called “Neuroscience cafe”, where I attempted to introduce the area of stem biology in a 10 minute talk titled “Demystifying the stem cell”.  Having been nicely ‘warmed’ up by the department talk I quickly put together some slides then set about simplifying them as far as I possibly could.  It turned out the audience were more knowledgeable than I’d surmised so it went fairly smoothly, albeit I learned never to keep a mobile phone anywhere near a microphone pack.  The most fun with the cafe experience was the open discussion after the presentations, it was really interesting to find out what the audience had on their minds about the whole subject.

Secondly then, editing… I opted into being an editor for a conference organisation so that I would then receive a reimbursement to attend and to travel the conference itself.  It proved to be something of an eye-opener, in so far as there was an immense range of topics, styles, content, approaches to be read while looking to fix the elements that the remit entailed.  In future I certainly consider I will be submitting better abstracts for the experience.  I now look forward to the conference with an even broader feel of what I might learn while I am there having ‘reviewed / edited’ 600+ abstracts for the meeting.

Finally, schools engagement… this was as part of National Science and Engineering Week, and was led by a colleague who had put together an elegant demonstration of cell size for the event.  Over two days I got stuck in and tried my hand at science presenting with a fun hint of circus style “roll-up, roll-up, and see our science delights” at times.  The school children that came seemed enthralled and stimulated by the various demonstrations and presentations.  Even the teachers / assistants that were guiding their charges around events got the bug, and often wore huge smiles too.  A real fun aside from the usual working day, that I will certainly sign-up to again in future if time allows.

All in all a busy start to the year 🙂

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