Tag Archives: science policy

Talmesha-Richards-Science-Communication

Speaking to… Talmesha Richards

“My work in the community has fostered my desire for a career in public service at the intersection of policy, advocacy, and science.”

Talmesha-Richards-science-communication
Talmesha Richards: Science Cheerleader

This is part of a series of interviews with science communicators about science communication. Today we are Speaking to… Talmesha Richards

Name?

Talmesha Richards

Where are you based?

I am based in Baltimore, MD.  I graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine with a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular  Medicine.  For undergrad I attended the University of Maryland Baltimore County and graduated  with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a B.S. in Mathematics.  For the past eight years I was an NFL Cheerleader. I spent 5 years with the Washington Redskins and 3 years with the Baltimore Ravens.

Where do you work?

I currently work with the Horizon Foundation, a health and wellness non profit in Howard County, MD.   I am part of their grassroots initiative to mobilize support for decreasing childhood obesity.

Why have you decided to move on? 

As I reflected on my 8 years as an NFL Cheerleader, I realized how much I love interacting with people and also helping them.  My work in the community has fostered my desire for a career in public service at the intersection of policy, advocacy, and science.

Why does policy interest you?

Policy interests me because it allows me to combine my love for science, health, and people.

Why is it important?

Policy is important because it is can help bring about positive change in people’s lives on a local, national and international level and I want to be a part of that process.

Rosalind Davies

Speaking to… Rosalind Davies

Rosalind-Davies-science-communication
Rosalind Davies

“children are very expressive and it’s great to know you’ve got them interested in something new.”

 

This is part of a series of interviews with science communicators about science communication. Today we are Speaking to… Rosalind Davies

Name?

Rosalind Davies

Where are you based?

Birmingham, England

Who do you work for?

I’m a PhD student at the University of Birmingham researching into new hydrogen storage materials for energy storage.

What type of science communication do you do?

My aim is to get people talking about cleaner energy, especially the use of hydrogen as a means of energy storage. I do this via twitter, as well as school visits and talking to anyone who will listen!

Activities I have been involved with range from model city demonstrations at the Cheltenham science festival to acting out how a fuel cell works, and the addition of an exploding hydrogen balloon to a presentation always goes down well!

When I finish my PhD I’d love to work full time in science communication, engaging with the public and, in particular, with policymakers. I’ve just finished a summer school on ‘Getting research into public policy’ here at the University of Birmingham which has given me more of an insight into how policy is made and how to get involved.

Who is your main audience?

Most of my activities have been engaging with school children of a variety of ages but I think that communicating with adults is just as important. The main reason for this being that my research is funded by the UK taxpayer, so I think they have a right to know about the amazing things researchers like me are finding out thanks to them.

How did you get into it?

Part of my PhD involves outreach projects on behalf of the university and this gave me the opportunity to give it a go and discover just how much I enjoyed it.

After hearing about the STEMNET scheme, which aims to inspire a new generation of scientists, I became a STEMNET Ambassador and this gave me the opportunity to attend more events promoting science. I’ve also trained and volunteered as an Imagineering tutor: an organisation that runs after school clubs to introduce children to engineering as it is a subject they don’t study at school.

Why do you do it?

I love science and I love talking! A lot of people seem to have lost interest in science but don’t realise how big a part it plays in their everyday life: realising that you have re-ignited a scientific interest in someone is very rewarding.

Why do you think science communication is important?

In the area of research that I am involved with, there seems very little point in developing new ways of using and storing energy if no-one knows anything about them. I think that it is crucial to get the public excited about the technology as they will be much more likely to use it in the future.

What do you love about science communication?

Being able to use twitter to communicate to people all over the world is great – it gives everyone the opportunity to voice their opinion.

Going into schools is a lot of fun, as children are very expressive and it’s great to know you’ve got them interested in something new.

What has been your favourite project?

My favourite project has been taking part in FameLab – a science communication competition where you get 3 minutes to talk about a science topic of your choice – here is me linking chocolate with renewable energy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VVHk3g6JDI&list=PLs37dDQJZnmExMVk-inXXuU__1HhX8jsv&index=6

Do you have any new science communication projects coming up?

The University of Birmingham is hosting a communication competition for researchers called ‘Three Minute Thesis’ which I’m really excited about entering!

In addition to this, during the next academic year I want to become more active online, blogging on science topics.

Any tips for those wanting to get into science communication?

My best tip would be to register with STEMNET as a way to get started as they run lots of events ideal for people who are new to communicating science.

You can follow Rosalind on Twitter at @RDscience

Khalil A. Cassimally

Speaking to… Khalil A. Cassimally

Khalil-A-Cassimally-science-communication
Khalil A. Cassimally

Write to make a difference (and remind yourself of this aim in hard times)”

 

This is part of a series of interviews with science communicators about science communication. Today we are Speaking to… Khalil A. Cassimally

Name?

Khalil A. Cassimally

Where are you based?

Mauritius, a tropical island in the Indian Ocean!

Who do you work for?

I’m a freelance community manager and science writer although I’m currently attached to Nature Publishing Group (NPG) right now. I manage two science blogging networks: Scitable blogs from Nature Education, the educational division of NPG; and SciLogs.com, an international network by German publisher Spektrum der Wissenschaft and NPG.

What type of science communication do you do?

My job as a community manager is to enable bloggers to communicate science to as wide an audience as possible. This basically entails making sure that they have the appropriate tools and services to make their blogging as enjoyable as possible. And also work on strategies to actively get their content to lots of eyeballs.

As a science writer, I started by writing more about science that got me excited. The topics tended to be related to the biological sciences, especially biomedical science—no surprise considering that my academic background is in the biomedical sciences.

I’m now focusing more on science and science policy, especially in Africa. Africa is a giant that’s waking up and its contribution to our collective scientific knowledge is steadily increasing. But importantly, I also want to elicit attention on the various problems that many Africans face—problems that the developing world may have already solved. This disparity in how we put our scientific knowledge to use is, I think, unacceptable. I hope that if more people are aware of it, changes will happen. This is the main reason I am writing more about science and science policy in Africa.

Who is your main audience?

Scitable targets high school and undergrad science students as well as science enthusiasts. SciLogs.com’s audience spans from active scientists to science enthusiasts.

How did you get into it?

I started writing about science since I was 16, I think. A few years later, I joined as a blogger of a Scitable group blog. With time, I took on more responsibilities and there you go. I was really lucky to have Ilona Miko as my editor on Scitable. She really mentored me (still does) and gave me an opening in science communication.

I must say that it was not my intention to get into science communication full time. I initially wanted to be a scientist but after one year of full time research, it was pretty obvious that I was not enjoying doing research nor was I very good at it. Thankfully I was able to turn, what was until then a hobby, into a fulltime thing.

Why do you do it?

I started writing about science because I loved science and I liked writing. So writing about science seemed the natural thing to do. But as I did more work in science communication, I quickly realised that I was involved in a really decent endeavour that spanned way beyond my own life here…

Why do you think science communication is important?

… Pushing science to people has the potential to educate and sensitise them so that they can push policymakers to embrace policies that have a scientific grounding and promote continual scientific research for the good of humanity as a whole.

What do you love about science communication?

Knowing that every piece of writing I do has the potential to change and sensitise, change a mindset and who knows… elicit actual change. That’s the goal science writers should strive for, I think. Try to make a change.

What has been your favourite project?

I’ve enjoyed every project I’ve been involved in. But a real bright mind and I are currently working on an independent project that mixes science, journalism and underdeveloped and developing countries. I’m pretty excited about this.

Do you have any new science communication projects coming up?

I guess I already answered this question!

Any tips for those wanting to get into science communication?

Write to make a difference (and remind yourself of this aim in hard times).

You can follow Khalil on Twitter at @notscientific