Last night, I gave my first “science stand-up” as part of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) Science Pub series at Whirled Pies in Eugene, OR. I really enjoy giving public presentations of my work, and while I’ve been on stage with a microphone before, it was the first time I got a stool to put my drink on.
I gave a talk which encompassed much of my previous work on host-associated microbiomes in moose and other ruminants, as well as more current research from others on the human gut. It’s difficult enough to fit the field of host-associated microbiomes into a semester-long class, nevermind an hour (I digress), so I kept it to the highlights: “A crash course on the microbiome of the digestive tract“. You can find the slides here: Ishaq OMNISci 20180208, although there is no video presentation at this time. I was honored to have such a well-attended lecture (about 120 people!) with an engaged audience, who had some really on-track questions about the intersection of microbial diversity and health.
As I’ve discussed here before, academic outreach is a sometimes overlooked, yet nevertheless extremely important, aspect of science. The members of the general public are a large portion of our stakeholder audience, and outreach helps disseminate that research knowledge, facilitate transparency of the research process, and engage people who might benefit from or be interested in our work. As I told the audience last night, scientists do like when people ask us about our work, but “we’re more scared of you than you are of us”. I encourage everyone to add science to their life by getting informed, getting involved, and getting out to vote.
Thanks again to OMSI for inviting me to participate, and to Whirled Pies for hosting!
Featured Photo Credit: Al Lebovitz