The Inaugural Tea Talk Tuesday

This past week we had our first Tea Talk Tuesday, a biweekly seminar series for grad students in STEM and related fields. Talks are 20 minutes long with 10 minutes after for questions and discussion, plus we get tea, coffee, and snacks to round out a mid-afternoon break. We model the Tea Talks after Friday Forum, an interdepartmental seminar series for grads in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Professor of Physics Stefano Profumo kicked things off with his talk, “When the Scientist Presents,” describing the components of a good scientific presentation.

We envision Tea Talk Tuesday as a friendly forum for students to both socialize and to be comfortable with public speaking. “Practice, practice, practice,” as Stefano stressed in his talk. The ability to communicate the passion for our research and our results is extremely important. Stefano drew on principles from books such as Dazzle em with Style: The Art of Oral Scientific Presentation by Robert R. H. Anholt and The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs by Carmine Gallo to craft his own talk.

Dr. Stefano Profumo giving his presentation at the inaugural Tea Talk Tuesday.
Dr. Stefano Profumo giving his presentation at the inaugural Tea Talk Tuesday on March 31st, 2015

From start to finish, a good scientific talk should fit the audience and have a strong takeaway message. Stefano outlined how to master the preparation, define an organized structure, craft good slides, and ace the delivery. With those key ingredients, we are ready to tackle the sometimes daunting task of public speaking.

There is a fantastic community of early-career researchers at UCSC that can be further strengthened through active interdisciplinary conversations. Plus, as someone who hears about stars and galaxies on an average day, I’d love to learn about marine biology, environmental conservation, or the interface between arts and sciences. Based on the well-attended first talk, many others agree!

Next Tuesday, we will hear from physics grad student Emma Storm, who studies dark matter using galaxy clusters – a whole team of galaxies interacting with and influencing each other. If you’re curious about dark matter, which makes up over a quarter of the “stuff” in our universe, and how colossal structures like galaxy clusters help us understand it, join us at 2:30 PM on April 7 in ISB 102.

 All members of the UCSC community are welcome to attend!

 -Kat

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