06 May Petri Dishes: From the Immediate Past-Director: April 2019 Issue
A Note From the Immediate Past-Director
Elizabeth Petri Henske, MD
Congratulations BRI NextGen Awardees
In order to catalyze the BWH research community’s ability to better and more quickly respond to a constantly evolving scientific landscape and to help them keep pace with rapid developments in technology, the Brigham Research Institute (BRI) launched two different variations of NextGen BRI awards in 2018. Investigators could request up to $5,000 to establish affinity groups or up to $50,000 to support collaboratives.
Science Slam Success
On April 18th, the BRI co-hosted a Science Slam with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and other institutions that comprise the Harvard Health Innovation Network (HHIN). The event was held at Daedalus Restaurant and Bar as a part of the Cambridge Science Festival.
HHIN members, colleagues, friends and family gathered to hear several brave “slammers” test their skills as science and/or health care communicators by pitching their research and innovations to the crowd. A range of original and inventive topics from impassioned researchers populated the restaurant. Each presenter had just three minutes to grab the audience’s attention and engage them with their focus area. Yielding to the “no PowerPoint policy,” slammers were left to battle it out with just their brains and presentation skills; an ability that can be decisively hard to come by.
We all know the incredible depth and breadth of knowledge that all of our investigators possess, however, it can be quite difficult to effectively communicate science in a way that is interesting and descriptive, while at the same time understandable for the lay audience. Many people, no matter what setting they are in or topic they are presenting on, tend to to assume that the audience already understands the material. However, at events such as these, onlookers could include children, non-scientists, or even potential donors without a healthcare background. This Science Slam was a chance to hone in on and develop these skills and provided a forum in which they could learn to move from “data dumping” to story telling.
Laura Kiesel, a freelance writer from the Harvard Health news blog, impressed the crowd with her thoughts on chronic pain, and won the Science Slam, receiving a fun prize pack from the hosts.
The BRI and HHIN hope to continue to bring researchers and their fascinating ideas forward to the public who may not hear them otherwise. Our goal is to raise awareness to the exceptional research that takes place within our institutions and open people’s eyes to all that goes on behind the scenes in the vast world of health care.
Cores and Resources Fair