It’s about time

One more prominent scientist bites the bullet: Richard Lenski has a blog. Interestingly, he credits a talk by C. Titus Brown about “How to build an enduring online research presence using social networking and open science” as the inspiration that woke him up to the importance of this and other forms of public engagement. It looks like a good talk, too, except that it’s a presentation that’s 72 slides long — my ideal for an hour talk is 12-15 slides. But as long as it works…!

I think it’s also a little on the long side because it goes through objections people make very thoroughly.

Comments

  1. David Marjanović says

    …uh. An hour-long talk with 12–15 slides is a talk that has a few pictures to illustrate it. It is not a PowerPoint/Keynote/whatever presentation: in such a presentation, you present the slides and explain them a little. Everything important is shown on the slides including their animation. That kind of presentation is simply a different beast than the talks you give!

    I go through 25–30 slides in 15 minutes; each slide is either just a pretty picture or contains no more than 3 (in extreme cases 4) bullet points accompanied by pretty pictures. Nobody has ever complained that I’d click through them too fast.

  2. says

    I was brought up to think that slides in a science talk should be so data rich that you must take several minutes to explain what’s on them — that if it’s significant enough to be worth showing, it’s worth discussing in depth.

    But then, I was brought up in the era when you’d use actual physical slides, and you had to use a camera to take them, and then you’d go into the darkroom and process them yourself…so you’d commit a lot of information to the individual slide before you’d go to all that effort. This powerpoint gizmo has ruined everything. You kids. Splutter splutter splutter.

  3. David Marjanović says

    I was brought up to think that slides in a science talk should be so data rich that you must take several minutes to explain what’s on them — that if it’s significant enough to be worth showing, it’s worth discussing in depth.

    Ah. That’s yet another beast. :-) In fact, it’s a great approach for a university course – it’s been a while since I experienced any, and since then I’ve only seen (and given) conference presentations with very strict time slots.

  4. Nightjar says

    Richard Lenski has a blog.

    Awesome news!

    I do fear for my future productivity, though, having just spent the last hour and half watching the film he linked to, Ordinary Extraordinary Junco*. I hope he doesn’t link to that kind thing too often.

    *And I recommend it, very interesting stuff. Not to a creationist of course, who would surely utter “still a junco!” throughout the whole film while managing to come out of it not having learned a thing.

  5. DLC says

    Powerpoint. ha! in my day, we used Overhead Projectors, with transparencies, and we were glad to have it!
    The lucky few had opaque projectors, which were the size of a console TV set, and took time to warm up!
    Powerpoint! Bah!
    We had to walk to school too.
    In the Snow!
    Uphill!
    Both Ways!
    But seriously folks :
    In HS I had this teacher whose idea of a good lecture was to slap a transparency on the projector, bark out the words on the thing, and expect — no, demand! that you copy everything on the entire page, verbatim, in the time allotted, (usually about 5 minutes) At the threat of losing a letter grade for each page you missed. Over a 10 weeks course. It was a challenge to the sanity.

  6. Ogvorbis: Purveyor of Mediocre Humours! says

    It looks like a good talk, too, except that it’s a presentation that’s 72 slides long — my ideal for an hour talk is 12-15 slides.

    Wow. I do some illustrated talks on railroad and industrial history that use 150 to 175 slides for a 45-minute talk. Then again, I can give the same programme sans images and still make it work so I guessa science talk and an interpretive talk are different. Very.