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Earth in Progress

Posted by Anne on December 17th, 2013

Climate scientists on site, investigating lake sediments at Lake Hämelsee for clues of climate change. This is a product of the Earth in Progress project, a cooperation between various disciplines involved in responding effectively to climate events. I’ve had the privilege of providing English communication skills courses to some members of the project. The film […]

The Exploratorium and the Science of Sailing

Posted by Anne on December 9th, 2013

Before becoming an English skills trainer, I worked on exhibitions presenting cultural history. My teaching and translating work since has made me curious about science. This summer we visited the wonderful Exploratorium in San Fransisco and saw the interactive exhibit they set up for the America’s Cup. That has fired my imagination and whetted my […]

The GoldieBlox Rube Goldberg (Anti)-Princess Machine

Posted by Anne on November 18th, 2013

I support GoldieBlox www.goldieblox.com, a toy startup dedicated to introducing girls to engineering through a combination of building toys and stories. That is, I bought 3 or 4 boxes of their first product from the USA on blind faith. The combination of hands-on building with hard and soft materials, abstract building materials and concrete characters,  […]

Presenting science to your peers

Posted by Anne on December 20th, 2012

I gave a morning workshop yesterday on scientific presentations to students of Geoscience and updated my approach a little. It now includes the concept of creating storytelling cycles of tension and resolution (situation, complication, resolution, example), as explained by presentation guru Andrew Abela, whose book, Advanced Presentations by Design, I have just ordered. Also see […]

The Love Competition

Posted by Anne on February 29th, 2012

A wonderful experiment, set up as a competition: Six people subject themselves to a brainscan while they think of someone they love. As they concentrate fully, the dopamine, the serotonin and the oxytosin wash through their brain, showing up in the scan. This is not only a beautiful study on kinds of love, it’s also […]

Online tools and resources for scientific writing

Posted by Anne on February 1st, 2012

I’m still struggling to teach scientific writing to a diverse group of PhD candidates that I only see occasionally. My latest attempt is to give them a set of online tools to analyze their genre of target texts (published works and their own work in progress), and to tell me how they like what the […]

Learning to listen to scientific lectures

Posted by Anne on October 18th, 2011

One of the greatest challenges for non-native academic users of English as a Lingua Franca is keeping up with what is being said in discussions to the point where they can process the information in real time and contribute themselves. In a word, the challenge is information overload. Not only are you trying to understand […]