Graduate Students Host Science Communication Conference
The Heart Visualization Installation from Dr. Nassim JafariNaimi's lab at Georgia Tech involves a student participant watching a video featuring cute animals in danger being saved by humans while her sweat, heart rate, and depth of breath is measured via infrared. Photos by Anzar Abbas and Carleen Sabusap
Graduate students from around the Southeast are gathered on campus this week to get better at talking about science.
Georgia Tech is hosting this year’s ComSciCon-Atlanta, a local version of a national communications conference for graduate students. In partnership with Emory University, Georgia Tech and Emory graduate students have organized the two-day event that provides workshops, panel discussions, mock interviews, and critiques for the 50 master’s and Ph.D. students in attendance.
The conference began Thursday and continues today with a keynote from Joe Hanson, a science writer, biologist, and YouTube educator. Hanson is the creator and host of It’s Okay To Be Smart, an award-winning science education show from PBS Digital Studios that celebrates curiosity and the pleasure of discovery. Day one also included panels on remaining engaged as an academic and on science communication in creative outlets as well as interactive sessions on storytelling, using humor, and data visualization.
“It’s so rewarding to have so many engaged graduate students here, exploring best practices and developing new techniques for science communication as an essential component of their training as future researchers,” said Laura Mast, a graduate student in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and one of the conference's organizers.
The event also features several Georgia Tech faculty members, including Manu Platt, associate professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering; Pete Ludovice, associate professor in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; Lew Lefton, assistant dean and senior academic professional in the School of Mathematics; Kim Cobb, Georgia Power Chair and ADVANCE Professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; Ian Bogost, Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and professor of Interactive Computing; Jennifer Leavey, senior academic professional in the School of Biological Sciences; David Hu, assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences; Nassim JafariNaimi, assistant professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication; and James (JC) Gumbart, assistant professor in the School of Physics.
Learn more about the event at comscicon.com/comscicon-atlanta-2018-program.
A ComSciCon ATL 2018 participant explores a bacterial protein bound directly to DNA in a virtual environment using an Oculus Rift, demoed by the Emory TechLab Photos by Anzar Abbas and Carleen Sabusap
The Heart Visualization installation data is instantly rendered into a spatially and temporally specific orientation showing how the participant's physiological changes (ie.stress or excitement) might respond to the dramatic sensory input provided by the video. Photos by Anzar Abbas and Carleen Sabusap
Amelia Stagg from the EmoryTechlab explains to attendees how 3D printers work and how to generate different kinds of structures. Photos by Anzar Abbas and Carleen Sabusap
Panelists engaged in a discussion regarding creative platforms for science communication (pictured from left to right: Sheila Tefft, Dr. Meisa Salaita, Marc Abrahams, and Dr. Diego Golombek) Photos by Anzar Abbas and Carleen Sabusap
The ComSciCon ATL 2018 Team with FYFD creator Nicole Sharp and It's Okay to Be Smart Host/Writer/Creator Joe Hanson (Pictured from left to right: Dr. Nicole Sharp, Anzar Abbas, Laura Mast, Dr. Kelly Vinal, Carleenmae Sabusap, and Dr. Joe Hanson)