Seçkin Eroğlu, an assistant professor visiting from the Department of Genetics and Bioengineering at Izmir University of Economics in Turkey, has returned home armed with some new ideas about communicating science.
Eroğlu, who spent about 12 weeks at Virginia Tech as the recipient of a Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship, was hosted by Elizabeth Grabau, professor of plant pathology, physiology, and weed science. Because of Eroğlu’s strong interest in improving his skills in communicating with lay audiences, Grabau contacted the Center for Communicating Science and arranged for him to make use of Center resources while he was on campus.
Eroğlu attended the first five weeks of GRAD 5144, Communicating Science, and met weekly with Center associate director Carrie Kroehler to discuss his work on two writing projects. A molecular biologist, Eroğlu is working on a book about genetic engineering, which he hopes will provide the citizens of Turkey with the information they need to understand the history of agriculture and the place of genetic engineering in agricultural development. In addition, he wrote the text for a children’s coloring book on evolution to be distributed at an evolution conference in Turkey in December. Turkey has recently entirely removed evolution for its school curricula, Eroğlu says, and also has very strict anti-GM (genetically modified) import regulations.
While in the United States, Eroğlu also had a full schedule arranged and facilitated by Grabau, including visits to federal agencies and industries, meetings with a variety of faculty both at Virginia Tech and elsewhere, and lab work.