It isn’t only your story: acknowledge forward

What does it feel like when you hear someone talk about your work as if you never existed? What do they gain by leaving you to a pile of names at the end? Heck, you even made those slides. You deserve credit right on the slide of your research. So, when someone asks for slides of your work, make it easy for them by including your picture and name on at least one of them.

Our lab group, summer 2013

Our lab group, summer 2013

Keeping up-front track of who did the work also helps with communicating your science as a story, something people did, with problems they confronted and solved, or found clever ways around. You do not lose by mentioning up-front the people that actually did the work, one by one as you talk about their contributions. Books have plots with multiple characters and we can keep track of them. Science is no different.

In the outstanding talk that Michael Donoghue gave at Evolution, he put names and photos on parts of the story as he told them. He did it very effectively particularly since it was partly an adventure story with world-wide Viburnum collecting. I particularly like pictures from the field, paired with maps of collecting spots.

You can still have a summary slide of the participants at the end, along with funding sources (that are also usually on the first slide). Then they will be a familiar cast of scientists, not names and photos we see for the first time. If any of them are currently available, it doesn’t hurt to put that down too!

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About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
This entry was posted in Presentations and seminars, Scientific meetings, Seminars and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to It isn’t only your story: acknowledge forward

  1. Great idea – I’m adding names and photos to my talk at Behaviour 2013 next week right now!

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