The People Have Spoken!

Last Friday, September 22, I participated in the 2nd Annual Postdoctoral Research Symposium held by the UW-Madison Postdoc Association. Following a keynote by Jo Handelsman, the former Associate Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Obama and the current Director of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, 17 postdoctoral researchers (including myself) took the stage in the Genetics-Biotechnology Auditorium at UW-Madison to share their current and ongoing research.

There were three judges evaluating and scoring each talk: Stephanie Carpenter, UWPA President and Postdoc in the Dept. of Psychology; Eric Hamilton, University Relations Specialist, Office of Vice Chancellor for University Relations; and Natasha Kassulke, Manager of Strategic Communications, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. There were also more than 50 audience members in attendance who were able to score each talk (from 1 to 10) in real time using their smart phones.

I presented a piece of my dissertation research (published here) that examines how one type of discourse during grant peer review meetings, "score calibration talk," helps us understand why collaborative discussion improves agreement in the scores assigned by reviewers within a panel, but worsens agreement in the scores assigned by different panels. My talk received the highest average score from the audience members, and I was awarded the People's Choice Award by the UWPA! 

It is such a tremendous honor to be recognized by a group of my peers spanning so many different fields of science—from psychology to entomology to chemical engineering to forest ecology and beyond! Without a doubt, public speaking is one of my favorite professional activities, and putting together engaging, creative, and fun visual presentations to accompany those talks is something I truly love to do. 

You can see (most) of the talk, except for the first 5-10 seconds, and the visual presentation right here