Life as an Extreme Sport

Virtually Speaking Science, The Post-Show: Nerves, Jargon, and Links

VSSMy first time at Virtually Speaking Science has just wrapped, and unlike future events where I will be the host, this time out, I was the guest. It was a “getting to know you” tour hosted by Jennifer Ouellette, and we covered quite a lot of territory, from blowing up science labs to doing wildlife rehab, the computer industry, telemedicine, college, grad school, and how Leigh Turner and Carl Elliott sucked me back into the world of ethics, somewhat kicking and screaming.

It was fun, if weird to talk about myself and my interests exclusively; it’s not how we’re trained to socialize, and I kept having to tamp down the instinct to ask Jennifer questions about herself; I suspect that means it’ll be much easier to be in the host chair when it’s time to talk to others.

The other thing that I found myself pausing over, even if it might not have been noticeable on-air, was jargon. Continue reading

Virtually Speaking Science: A New Place to Find Me on the Interwebs

In what is likely the worst “kept under wraps” bit of news in a while, I’m happy to announce that I’m joining the Virtually Speaking Science collective as a new host. But before I get to roll out the welcome mat and chatter with other people about their work, I’m going under the interviewee lens; Jennifer Ouellette is interviewing me Wednesday, May 14, at 8pm ET/5pm PT.

What is Virtually Speaking Science? It is a live webcast ‘radio’ with a digital, Second Life studio audience of:

[i]nformal conversations hosted by science writers Alan Boyle, Tom Levenson and Jennifer Ouellette, who explore the often-volatile landscape of science, politics and policy, the history and economics of science, science deniers and its relationship to democracy, and the role of women in the sciences.

VSSI’ve been having a blast getting to know my co-hosts, setting up my Second Life avatar, and getting to know my producer, Sherry Reson. And for a touch of nostalgia, VSS is hosted by the Exploratorium in Second Life. As some of you know, I not only grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I spent many, many hours in the Exploratorium. In some ways, this is very much a coming home for me; a long time later, I’m back—at least virtually—at one of the first places that sparked my interest in and wonder for science.

I hope you’ll tune in and join me. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun.