Meet the WiSE woman behind the SciComm Symposium

From roaming through Montana while dabbling in documentary filmmaking to singing and writing science-y songs in a two-man band with her husband Derek, Tess Eidem is not your typical postdoctoral fellow. The energetic, permanently good natured and fascinatingly organized Eidem has a passion for communicating science in unique ways and a knack for bringing like-minded people together.

One of Eidem’s many passion projects includes the annual Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Science Communication (SciComm) Symposium. Eidem started the Symposium to help bridge the disconnect between researchers and the general public. And, she wanted to equip young scientists with the skills to easily communicate their work with other people.

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Science communication lessons from Dr. Julie Gerberding, first woman to head the CDC

In our increasingly globalized world, the consequences of climate change and pandemics are far-reaching while vaccine hesitancy, climate skepticism, and the Trump administration’s science and energy policies threaten to block efforts toward finding solutions.

Halfway through its first week, the Trump administration froze the Environmental Protection Agency’s grants and contracts, issued a gag order on public communication, and ordered the agency to remove climate change from its website. Now more than ever, there is a need for individuals who can engage the deeply partisan public in scientific issues, in ways that foster interest and excitement while helping to weed out fear mongering and misinformation.

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Research on caffeine and health suggests it’s all about the timing

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I love coffee, whole-heartedly and irrevocably. I love the way it smells, tastes, and the way it makes me feel. I drink it every day and I probably won’t ever stop. I’m telling you this to illustrate that I’m not discouraging caffeine consumption—that would be hypocritical and insane. I am, however, pointing out that there may be times when we shouldn’t drink it, according to recent science.

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Ten-hundred word challenge, Part 3: Worm Sperm and Brain Pain

In our third installment of the Ten Hundred Word Challenge inspired by this XKCD Up-Goer Five comic (and aided by this Up-Goer Five text-editor), we present two cases of complicated biology made simple. Aggie writes about fear changing our brains, and Paul writes about tiny worm sperm. Read on to learn more! And then, if you’re interested in writing your own, contact us at sciencebuffs@colorado.edu.

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Exercise, Microbiomes, and You

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“Neuroscientists tend to think of our brains as separate entities, or black boxes,” says Aggie Mika, a graduate student in Integrative Physiology at CU Boulder. “But it’s clear we need to start thinking about our central nervous system as being part of the whole.” And Mika doesn’t just mean part of our individual bodies—she means part of the conglomeration of cells that live on us and inside us, not all of them human. We are a walking ecosystem, and the brain must be considered as a part of that.

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Science in the 2016 Presidential Election: Room for Improvement

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If you’ve been paying attention to recent presidential debates, you’ve noticed that the current election has been a rancorous one. Presidential front runners from both parties have been vehemently, at times even bitterly, defending their positions concerning military, economic, foreign, immigration, and social policies. These issues, along with pettier campaign business concerning who lied about what and who’s a true progressive or a true conservative, have dominated recent news cycles.

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Ten-hundred Word Challenge: Part One

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How many different words do you use in a day? Take a guess. A couple hundred? A couple thousand? I couldn’t find stats on how many different words people use every day, but I did find that adults know more than 17,000 words, whereas an average five year old knows about 1,500 words. Having so many words makes language complex and nuanced, and virtually anything can be explained. But not everything explained is understood, and science in particular suffers from an overuse of jargon.

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Graduate Student Snapshot: Clifford Bridges

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Clifford Bridges is a force of nature. His unrelenting energy is tangible as he describes a long list of pursuits ranging from artistry to athletics—outside of his graduate studies in mathematics. “In all of life, I’m just going for it,” he says.

Clifford was a reluctant academic. Though he hated school when he was younger, this changed when he discovered geometry. Suddenly there were rules to follow and reasons to use them. “If I follow this rule, I’ll get the exact right answer every time.”

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