Independent science journalist JoAnna Klein engaged the crowd at Wilson Library on Wednesday with a simple question: "Why should you even be listening to me?"
“What if I told you a couple of weeks ago I wrote an obituary about a snail named Jeremy? That’s one reason you should listen to me,” Klein said. “But also, I write about how people can use science in their daily lives.”
Klein regularly writes for The New York Times’ science desk, notably the Trilobites column. She was on campus to give a presentation titled “Don’t Be Boring… and Other Pro Tips for Talking about Science.” Drawing on her transition from a research scientist to a journalist, Klein wove together jokes, anecdotes and advice in a presentation that was anything but boring.
Over time, scientists accumulate an array of special knowledge, and Klein said it is their duty to share it with others. Scientific journals and papers are the classic way to do this, but scientists struggle to reach an audience that is not made up of their peers. Klein seeks to find ways to make scientific research and findings appealing to everyone they affect.
“You can’t be afraid to step out of your comfortable little bubble,” she said. “Science may explain a bubble, but it does not exist in one. Now more than ever, it is important for you to be able to tell stories about science that people will listen to.”