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From the College of Natural Sciences

Talking about Science

​Dear Students,

Last week, I was in England for a scientific conference. While it was a lovely chance both to visit with some of my research collaborators and to see a bit of England, most of my time was spent in a hotel conference room listening to talks. The meeting was on electronic processes in organic materials and covered topics ranging from solar cells to LED lighting. I learned a lot, and I hope people learned something about my group's research, thanks to these presentations and discussions.

Many students don't realize the importance of communication skills in science. If you make a wonderful discovery but don't communicate it with the world, then what's the point? We are seeking knowledge not simply for our own intellectual advancement but for the advancement of society.

Scientists work hard to disseminate their results to the world through papers, posters, talks, and other presentations. Moreover, they work to develop their skills to effectively communicate their work to experts and non-experts alike. I would urge you to seek out opportunities like this in your education. When you take a Writing Flag course, don't see this as a requirement to check off. Instead, approach it as a way to learn how to be a better writer. If your class has the opportunity for you to give a presentation, seize the chance to improve how you communicate complex ideas. These elements are as important—or more important—than the content knowledge you'll learn at UT. 

What starts here changes the world...but only if you can communicate the ideas to others.


Dr. Vanden Bout

P.S. Why does hamburger have a lower energy than steak? It's in the ground state. (Thanks for the contribution, Abdul!) Send more via Twitter to @StudentDeanCNS.

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Monday, 25 October 2021

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