In April 2017, I visited Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for the third time to attend the Wiring the Brain conference. It was a small conference – around 150 people. We spent 4 days listening to talks, seeing posters and eating all of our meals together. I made some good friends by happenstance. We created a table of “orphans” at the first meal. We had all come to the meeting alone, rooming with a stranger and assuming we would find people to talk to at the meeting. We certainly did! A small meeting with meals included facilitates making new friends; I highly recommend them to any scientist, especially graduate students.
In addition to real life conversations, I also joined the Twitter conversation for the meeting with the hashtag #cshlwtb. We were not highly active on social media at the conference, but we had fun. I have compiled our activity into a Storify story to convey the real time conversations and connections we made.
I particularly enjoyed using social media as a way to interact with speakers and conference organizers. 150 people may not seem like much, but it’s enough that any individual person will not have much face to face time with a particular organizer. On social media, though, I could talk to everyone asynchronously. I plan to use a similar strategy at the 30,000 attendee Society for Neuroscience meeting in the future.
Questions about my experience or the science we discussed? Use my contact form!
At the Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting in November 2016, I met a wonderful group of people at My Green Lab. They are a nonprofit who help scientists and scientific facilities managers conduct science in a more sustainable way, from lower energy usage freezers to improved waste management. Allison Paradise, Executive Director at My Green Lab, and I bonded over our love of Meeting Street Cafe cookies, and talked a little about sustainability in science. I didn’t win the sustainability t-shirt, though (sad face).
However, out of that new connection came an opportunity to be featured in their newsletter! Continue reading
Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to participate in the Rescuing Biomedical Research Writing Program. In this program, I wrote 2 blog posts for their blog. Here, the audience is people who care and know a decent amount about science policy issues. This was unfamiliar territory for me. Could I, someone whose writing experience was limited to the general public, get the hand of this audience? I struggled, but I successfully published an article on the grant resubmission process at the NIH and a second article on indirect cost payments. Continue reading
In 2015, I joined a group of aspiring science communicators led by Joe Palca of National Public Radio (NPR). Recently, this group blossomed from a group of people who care about and share interesting science articles to a group that also helps each other write science articles for the public. Over the course of 2 months, a writer progresses from idea to published blog-style post. First, a writer pitches a story and Joe Palca and Maddie Sofia (the Queen of the FOJBIs) help it find an outlet. Then, the writer drafts the article and 3-5 other FOJBIs provide feedback on this draft. After a series of edits, including some from Joe and Maddie, the writer finalizes the post and it’s published.
Check out my article, Your Brain on Music! Continue reading
At the Society for Neuroscience meeting in November 2016 I was offered the opportunity to present my research as a Dynamic Poster. This is a really cool format – instead of the usual 3 foot by 4 foot piece of paper, I had a 55 inch TV to display my research on. However, there wasn’t much guidance on how to create a Dynamic Poster, so I hope future Dynamic Poster presenters will find my notes helpful. The research I presented is described in my research summary and recently published in Elife, an open access journal. Continue reading
On November 5, 2016, I gave a 5 minute presentation entitled “Neural Circuits: How Brain Meets World.” Watch the video below, and then read below for my musings on the experience.