I was the lucky recipient of a spare iCrag ticket and got to attend SciCom:2015 yesterday in Athlone. It was aimed at enhancing science communication and making scientists more aware of the challenges they face in getting their message across and increasing their profile. It was a very enjoyable conference and certainly made a welcome change from the, 'death by powerpoint' formula of the academic conferences that I usually attend.
An excellent range of speakers and the keynote was extremely entertaining - Quentin Cooper from BBC's, 'The Forum'. Some excellent facts from his talk:
- Really we should be, 'Sciencists' to spell it correctly, but when coining the term, 'Scientist' in the early 1800's the term for the cluster of enthusiasts was modelled on the term for defining a broad range of, 'Artists' - and so the 'T' stuck.
- When dealing with barriers to improving people's perceptions of sciencists - the top 3 screen sciencists aren't even human. Spock was one of the them.
- Sciencists are statistically guaranteed to be the most likely character killed on television. Sciencists have a 10% chance of being killed. That is strange - as it was usually the guys in red who bought it in Star Trek - not Spock.
- We are also evil - as there is a 5% chance that the baddy in a movie will be a sciencist.
Some great talks, and easily the most stable Skype connection that I have ever seen for a webcast with Connie St. Louis.