Required watching for any TED speaker: The science of stage fright

Great advice, whether you get stage fright or have never had the (dis)pleasure

TED Blog

One thing can strike fear into the heart of the fiercest warrior, the most powerful CEO and the smartest person in any given room: having to speak in public. The thought of it makes the palms sweat, the heart beat faster and the limbs start to shake. An estimated 75% of people have a fear of speaking in public, and it’s something that nearly everyone who takes the TED stage must work hard to overcome.

This TED-Ed lesson, the science of stage fright, just might help. In the lesson — which is taught by educator Mikael Cho and directed by animator Robertino Zambrano of KAPWA Studioworks — looks at stage fright not as an emotion, but as a physiological response. In other words, it’s not so much something to be overcome as to be adapted to.

“Humans are wired to worry about reputation. Public speaking can threaten it,” says…

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So When in Doubt, Go the Gratuitous Pole Dancer shot??

The Oz's caption?: Federal research policy is poles apart from what's needed

The Oz’s caption?: “Federal research policy is poles apart from what’s needed” – see the attached pdf for the “gymnastic” encore

Pole Dancer version

UPDATE:  12:35pm 8 AUGUST 2013  in the processing of posting this story, it has become apparent that The Australian has decided there was a better photo option to accompany their story: check out the thumbnail at via the Higher Education home page  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education. While pleased with this outcome, I’m still including the original photo and caption included, if only to prove I’m not making this up…..

Maybe it’s because it’s National Science Week, when we celebrate the importance of science and the multitude of fields in which our relatively small country has consistently produced some of the world’s best and brightest. Continue reading

Superman Squared?

Today is the day “Superman” is available for the masses in Australia (as opposed to yesterday, when it was open to everyone with time to queue). And while I’m a big fan of Henry Cavill as Christopher Reeve’s true successor, there is another contender for the title, albeit not filling the suit in a Cavill-esque way.

The position of Australia’s Chief Scientist has been filled by some remarkable people since its inception, but it’s questionable whether one has ever been more suited to their time than Professor Ian Chubb AC. Continue reading

Maths and Science Education Symposium

Interesting discussion at “The Conversation” on Maths and Science Education live streamed on the web today, interesting on many levels not least of which is the number of different perspectives on approaching the topic (and yes, some of them tended towards “my way”, but most were academics with grants to support). I’m sure The Conversation will have coverage of it for those who want to follow through, but for me the quote of the day belongs to Professor Ian Chubb AM, Chief Scientist of Australia (pictured below, photo courtesy of The Conversation’s twitter posting):Image“We’ve been talking about this for a while but as I get older, I’m getting less patient with inaction”

#onsci June 20 2013: Myths about communicating science

No, I’m not just copping out of blogging this week – would actually love to hear what you think about this

Bridge8

We’re all aware of the popular science TV series Mythbusters.

These crazy scientists spend an hour or so challenging common perceptions about science and technology.

But is this the only way that science can be appealing?

Does science needs to be kooky, whacky, explosive and dangerous in order to be of interest?

And what other mythical beliefs are out there about science communication?

How about:

  • ‘scientists don’t want to talk to people about their work’
  • ‘oh, why do we bother, people aren’t really that interested in science’
  • ‘just give people the facts’
  • ‘if they knew what I knew about science, then they’d love it too’
  • ‘we have to make science fun and exciting!’
  • ‘scientists should just be left alone to do research, not waste their time communicating about what they do and find’
  • ‘scientists who are interested in communicating their work aren’t really proper, hardcore scientists’.

These statements are…

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Rough Week?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a rough week – one of those weeks where you tell yourself to get over yourself cos it’s not like you’re in Syria, but then feel so bad for the Syrians that you feel worse, because now you’re the kind of person who compares themselves to the Syrians struggling to survive to make themselves feel better. Yeah, one of those weeks. Continue reading

Deliberate Silence

Of course the other thing that happened in the last two weeks affecting the focus of this blog was the Australian Government’s budget. This blog is going to try and stay away from big-P Politics in favour of discussing small-p policy from all parties that affect this space. That’s the plan anyway.

And yes, I know my political views will influence any comment I might make, but I’m hoping  that can be limited to small-p politics: it’s worth a try…

You Know You’re Really Getting Old When

Your Commercial Foundations booth at the Co-operative Research Centres Association conference 2013

YCF booth at CRCA conference 2013

You realise just how resilient you’re not anymore. It’s been over a week since I got back from Melbourne and the launch of YCF, and since I blogged – I would love to say it’s because I’ve been so busy, but there was a fair bit of too tired too. It was an exciting, challenging, stimulating couple of days that reinforced a few things for me: Continue reading