Blogs

Change relations of race and science: Hidden Figures

I speak to diverse audiences around the country. One audience is the Africana Lecture Series led by Dr. Christina Baker at Sonoma State University (SSU). The series was created in memory of my father, LeVell Holmes, Ph.D., who began the Ethnic Studies program at SSU in 1968.

What Do You Mean by Science Communication?

Science Communication: it’s a phrase that has developed into a field and a call to action within communities of science. Yet, many wonder and debate: what is science communication? The answer depends on who you ask and who you play/work with.

Great Scientists Play!

Seeking Innovation? Learn to play!

As I prepared my talk for Cracking the Workplace Communication Code with the Massachusetts Association of Women in Science, I came upon a wonderful surprise while looking for an example of small group authored papers from the 60's. The current discussion of "the future of research" calls for a return to a time of small labs and groups—a time when high caliber scientists, inspiring and collaborating with one another, produced exciting scientific breakthroughs.

CESTEMER 2017 Exceeds Expectations!

For this innovative bi-annual conference, we always create an environment that is warm and curious—one that nurtures play and connection. This year, we seemed to create an experience of joy quickly. One participant arrived at the conference doors before they opened, saying, “I’m so excited—I can’t believe I found this.” As each person arrived, there seemed to be an expression of excitement and gratitude for simply being present.

What do the Boston Philharmonic and BU Bioinformatics have to do with one another? Ilija Dukovski

Ilija Dukovski, a physicist turned bioinformatician after years in industry, began his Boston University seminar class with the TED Talk by Benjamin Zander conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Ilija spoke with interest and excitement as he shared collegially with students in the first class. “I don’t want to give you a recipe. I thought we would look at an excellent talk together and say what we think. So you can develop your own talks.”

How to talk and build diverse science communities: Listen.

What do you mean "listen"? It’s a counter intuitive lesson and one that’s been reported to improve how you talk with others. Recently, Alan Alda on the Science Friday podcast, noted that to be a better communicator, you need to listen. He says, “[listen] even better than the person you’re speaking with’.

Richard Tapia and Cultivating Diversity in Computing.

I am fortunate enough to have worked with Richard Tapia. A recipient of the National Medal of Science (2011) and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, among many other honors. Richard Tapia is, by accomplishments alone, significant.

Celebrating Failure! What?

Yay, we failed!  is one of my favorite games to lead in workshops with 10's to 100’s of individuals. We play it early in workshops and I listen for the rounds of "Yay" that fill the air along with waving hands and laughter.

It’s never clear how a group will play with making mistakes. How will they jump in to supporting each other, to celebrating hesitation or just getting something, in this case a name, wrong.

Growing leaders and transforming the voices of science

Leadership is not restricted to a given age. It is an activity, a performance, that can be learned and grown. This is a core principle of the workshops and coaching offered by Dr. Raquell Holmes, who created improvscience to develop and support leaders throughout the scientific enterprise.

What is an extraordinary science community?

What is an extraordinary science community? This is one of the questions that I, along with a number of creative educators and researchers, am asking as we create the bi-annual Cultivating Ensembles in STEM Education and Research (CESTEMER) conference. The conference theme this year is Cultivating Extraordinary Science Communities: Re-imagining Arts, Humanities and STEM.

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