I've always been interested in science and communication, and as time went along always wondered how to meld the two in an interesting and entertaining way. In fact, in my senior year in college I finished third in the nation in a forensics event-- something called After Dinner Speaking. Here you would convey a serious topic using humor as a vehicle. I was pretty good at that.
During grad school I was paid to write for stand-up comedians and even wrote greeting cards. I self-published funny books on pranks and pseudoscience, and wrote a lot of clever work for "fanzines", the pre-internet alternative media. My stuff flew off the racks at a local place called Quimby's Queer Book Store. Yes, there once were stores that sold books.
As I moved through academic ranks from grad student to professor, my students' reviews always recognized how my use of humor was appropriate and helpful, and creative analogy and colorful tangents reinforced key scientific points.
7/12/2019 EDIT -- This was a good idea and was executed well. Unfortunately the other organizers took umbrage to my repeated demands to complete the work and dismissed me from the project. I did initiate drafts of the manuscript back in 2016. It is part of a much bigger falling out. These folks also decided to use FOIA to obtain internal university documents about confidential professional witness work I was doing for a law firm on my vacation time. They broke my confidentiality, revealing information that was not supposed to be public. It jeopardized my involvement in a private dispute between two parties, as well as the progression of the arbitration. They have certainly taken every opportunity to impugn my integrity and harm my career, in this and other ways. Please understand that if I had any pull in this situation I would do everything I could to complete the work as promised. It pains me to not deliver, but I have been dismissed from this project and have zero influence in i…
This week's Talking Biotech features interviews with Dr. Karl Haro von Mogel and our interest in finding 1250 participants to test the hypothesis that wild animals will not eat genetically engineered corn. You can contribute to the effort and/or participate here!
The second part interviews Dr. Lee Panella about sugar beet breeding. We don't think much about sugar beets, but they are important to sugar production and bring good value to farmers.