Hot on the heels of my Friday post about the elevator-pitch throwdown organized by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine comes news that Stanford postdoc and clinical instructor Michael Rothenberg, PhD, was awarded third place in the organization's "non-lead scientist" category. (Awards were given in two categories - non-lead scientist and lead scientist - to acknowledge the vast range of experience and training of the scientists who chose to compete. )
Rothenberg works in the laboratory of Michael Clarke, MD, at Stanford's Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, and he studies... well, why don't I let him tell you himself? Watch the video above to see how winning science communication is done. And then check out a few more of the winners (links in the CIRM announcement).
Videos longer than 35 seconds lost points. All had to clearly explain in plain language what their CIRM-funded research was about. Humor helped, but it wasn't necessary. And although the contest was lighthearted, the purpose was serious. From CIRM's release:
The goal of the Elevator Pitch Challenge was to help researchers who get funding from the stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), do a better job of communicating with the public. After all, we are a publicly funded agency and the money we use to fund research comes from the people of California, so it’s only reasonable to expect researchers to be able to explain the importance of what they do to Californians, and anyone else they might meet.
Previously: Learning and laughing: CIRM's elevator pitch contest and A call to fix the "crisis of communication" in science