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Communicating Science - itʼs in us to give

July 13, 2016


The RTC Career Development Committee recently welcomed Dan Riskin, PhD and co-host of the Daily Planet, to the LTRI for their first in a series of career development lectures and workshops.

Dan Riskin, PhD  
Dan Riskin, PhD and co-host of the Daily Planet  
During the widely attended talk, Dr. Riskin gave graduate students and researchers advice on how to pursue a career in scientific communications and a sample of what it is like to be on Canada’s premier science show. From raving over the many types of bat species he’s worked with to the humorous story of a personal interaction with a bot fly (which he later named Georgia – “because who wouldn’t preserve it in a jar and keep it on their desk?”), Dan demonstrated to the room how to make research presentations both entertaining and informative.

Dr. Riskin sees science communicators as “role models for curiosity”. The best communicators will get the general public engaged in the questions scientists ask, and excited about the discovery process. Those looking to start a career in communications should learn how to communicate enthusiasm and passion for the field.

Looking to get your own research noticed by a larger audience? Dr. Riskin advised scientists to take pictures and videos of their research and then reach out to local news agencies. Explain to them why this research is exciting and why it matters. Asked to do an interview? Smile, lean in, and deliver short answers with a high degree of enthusiasm.

Dr. Riskin received his PhD in Zoology from Cornell University and was published in Nature in 2005 for his work on the biomechanics of running vampire bats. He is author of the Canadian Bestseller Mother Nature is Trying to Kill you and has a weekly podcast Recent Paper Decent Puzzle.





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