2013 Student Workshops

VSS Workshop for PhD Students and Postdocs: How to deal with media?!

Sunday, May 12, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, Acacia 4-6

Chair: Frans Verstraten
Discussants: Aude Oliva, Allison Sekuler, and Jeremy Wolfe

When you have great results it sometimes (but more and more so) means that you will have to deal with journalists who want to tell their readers all about the impact of your research. The problem is that they often exaggerate and can write things that you are not happy about. What should you do to keep in charge when dealing with the media? Also, it has become more and more necessary to present your work to a larger audience. This means more lectures for a general audience, writing popular books, columns in newspapers, appearances on TV and radio programs etc. What is the best way to go here?

These questions will be addressed in a one-hour session introduced by VSS board member Frans Verstraten. His brief introduction is followed by questions and discussion featuring a panel of media experienced VSS members as well as a journalist. All participants will have the chance to ask all the questions they like!

Frans Verstraten

Before Frans Verstraten moved to the University of Sydney in 2012 he was a ‘regular’ on Dutch national TV. Among others, he was a member of the team of scientists in the popular science TV-show Hoe?Zo! (How?So!) which aired for 6 seasons. For several years, he wrote columns for national newspaper De Volkskrant and Mind Magazine. Frans also wrote a book (Psychology in a nutshell) for the general audience. He spends lots of time on scientific outreach. Recently, some of his lectures were published as a 4 CD audio box.

Aude Oliva

Aude Oliva is at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. Her work has been featured in various media outlets, including television, radio, newspapers, as well as in the scientific and popular press (i.e. Wired, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, The Scientist, New Scientist, CNN, and other equivalent outlets in Europe). Her research has made its way in textbooks, as well as in Museums of Art and Science. Her outreach experience includes talks and reports for various companies and industrial firms, as well as governmental agencies.

Allison Sekuler

Allison Sekuler (McMaster University) has a long history of and a strong passion for science outreach, and is a frequent commentator on her own research and that of others in the national and international media. She wrote and was featured in a series of video columns for the Discovery Channel on vision, and has recently appeared on the CBC, Discovery, and the History Channel. She has served as President of the Royal Canadian Institute for the advancement of science, and helped bring the Café Scientifique movement to Canada. She also was the sole scientist on the founding Steering Committee of the Science Media Centre of Canada, and she co-founded #ScienceSunday on Google+, which now has a following of over 65,000 people.

Jeremy Wolfe

Jeremy Wolfe (Brigham & Women’s Hospital) does not consider himself a media star though he does end up in the newspaper, broadcast media, and internet world from time to time. He has learned to be careful about what he says because, if he is not, he knows he will hear from his mother. Jeremy’s primary research focus is visual search, including search by experts like airport baggage screeners, radiologists, and spy satellite image analysts (hence the occasional media interest).

VSS Career Event for PhD Students and Post-docs: What’s Next?

Sunday, May 12, 1:00 – 2:00 pm, Banyan 1-2

Chair: Suzanne McKee
Discussants: Shin’ya Nishida, Lynne Kiorpes, Gunilla Hagerstrom-Portnoy

What next? How can I prepare for my career after grad school? What opportunities are available outside academia? What are the advantages and disadvantages of academic versus other careers? How could I prepare for a career in clinical research? How could I make a contribution to solving clinical problems? What kinds of problems could I work on in industry? What do I need to know about managing a family and an academic career? Can I get a break from teaching duties?

These questions and more will be addressed in a one-hour session with short introductions by our panel of experienced experts. Presentations by panel members will be followed by questions and an interactive discussion session with the audience and panel.

Suzanne McKee

Suzanne McKee is a senior scientist at Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, CA. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. She is well-known for her psychophysical studies of all aspects of vision. She will share her experiences working on ‘soft-money’ at a non-profit institution, working in industry, and balancing family and career.

Shin’ya Nishida

Shin’ya Nishida is a Senior Distinguished Scientist of NTT (Nippon Telegram and Telephone Corporation) Communication Science Laboratories, Japan. He received BA, MA and Ph.D degrees in Psychology from Faculty of Letters, Kyoto University. His research has focused on visual motion perception, material perception, time perception and cross-modal interactions.

Lynne Kiorpes

Lynne Kiorpes graduated from Northeastern University with a BS in Psychology and then earned her PhD at the University of Washington with Davida Teller. She is a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at New York University. Her current work is focused on the development of the visual system and the neural correlates of disorders of visual and cognitive development.

Gunilla Haegerstrom-Portnoy

Gunilla Haegerstrom-Portnoy received her OD and PhD degrees from the School of Optometry University of California, Berkeley where she is a long time faculty member with clinical and administrative responsibilities. She is also a long time consultant to Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco. Her research interests include anomalies of color vision, assessment/management of children with visual impairments and vision function and visual performance in the elderly.