The Communicating Science workshop we did in class this week was really interesting. I wasn’t sure what to expect when we started, but what I eventually realized is that the workshop was meant to teach me how to monitor my non-verbal cues and show more of my natural enthusiasm when discussing my work. We did an interesting exercise where we went around the circle and introduced ourselves and our research, and then did it again while introducing ourselves and listing some of our hobbies. People seemed much more open, casual, and relatable when discussing their interests as opposed to retreating into their specified research bubble. There was less emphasis on choosing precisely the right words or making your work sound important or complex. It reminded me that all of us in academia have a “private” life (i.e., when we are at home in our sweatpants on the weekends) that is often very separate and different from our “public” and professional life.
The workshop helped me to reflect on the fact that I am lucky to be in psychology. I find that my work, although it requires a knowledge of jargon and appreciation of complex constructs just like any other science, is often more palatable and interesting to the general public, as most everyone has taken a personality quiz or read an article about an unusual social phenomenon at least once in their lives. At the end of the workshop, when we got a chance to practice injecting more passion into our descriptions of our research, I felt like it was relatively easy to connect my work to pop culture and get a few laughs from my audience. I imagine this would have been a more difficult exercise for those in other fields.
I’m curious about what everyone else in class thought of the workshop — share your thoughts below?