Revisiting play: enriching scientific environments

"Play" is a provocative word in some work places, despite increasing recognition of its significant contribution to human development, creativity and productivity. As I head off to Seattle (Tapia Conference) and then Chicago (American Association for the Advancement of Science), I envision a range of sentiments in response to my call to scientists to develop through improvisation: to play. 

Nature Careers features improvisation in scientific training

The scientific community is rallying behind the cry, "Communicate your science."  This call is being answered by innovators who bring the arts and skills of communication to science students and professionals. The significance of improvisation in graduate education and our scientific professional development is the focus of the Nature Career feature, "Communication: spontaneous scientists" by Rachel Bernstein.

Communicating Science With Alan Alda Group at AAAS

Improvisation and communicating science are being writ large at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting 2014 in Chicago. Alan Alda, formerly known to many as Hawkeye of the TV series MASH and now known for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University, will keynote the conference whose theme is Discovery and Innovation.

Performing Science as Improvisation: Science Mag

What does it mean to see improvisation in science or to see scientific research as improvisation? In conversations with colleagues asking this same question, we have a couple of answers. One is that the research process itself is improvisational. You have to work with the constraints of what is already “known”,  and the constraints of what you can feasibly test. These shape the scientific stage. You can add information, data, ideas to the scene, yet, how this changes or adds to the science story is not known until others add their contributions.

Well kept secrets: who knows why (pt2)

When you’re willing to be “out there”, brave in saying what you’re interested in, you have the chance of finding others doing something similar. Trained as a researcher, living in research centers and keeping a finger in publishing scientific reviews, chapters and articles, I am well aware of the weirdness of doing improvisational workshops with my colleagues. I often wake saying to myself, “what are you doing?”

improvisation for q-bio

I'm just about to leave a wonderful meeting, q-bio. I was invited to deliver one of my "improvisation for STEM professionals" workshops. It's essentially a community building, getting know each other as people workshop that's fun. The organizers were clearly interested in creating an environment where their participants could be comfortable, open and interested in each other as scientists and people.

Well kept secrets: who knows why. Pt1

I’m having the experience of finding some very well kept secrets. Or perhaps they’re not such well-kept secrets as under-promoted activities. I’ll start where I am—at Arizona State University (ASU). A few weeks ago I came to visit ASU and the mentoring-outreach programs of Carlos Castillo Chavez. For many, or at least those in mathematics and applied mathematics, Carlos Castillo Chavez is no secret.

Math and Science, Learning is Improvisational

Tomorrow I’ll be leading a workshop at the Joaquin Bustoz Math-Science Honors Program at Arizona State University. It is part of the Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center (MCMSC) directed by Carlos Castillo Chavez and at which I am a newly appointed associate research professor. The workshop will be different than most lectures or talks delivered to these high achieving students from across Arizona and the Navajo Nation.

STEAMing things up for scientists at the University of Miami

Contributed by Veronica A. Segarra, Ph.D. We scientists improvise all the time. Not just at the bench while designing and troubleshooting experiments, but also when strategizing how to best communicate our ideas to others in our departments, classrooms, and fields of research.

Learning to Lead Improvisational Learning Environments

It's the third Friday of every month for the next few months: an opportunity to work with Carrie Lobman, director of pedagogy at the East Side Institute which developed the performance based approach that informs services provided by improvscience. A central belief to this approach is that human beings are active builders and creators of their lives.