Accessible Academic Writing?

Hatsune Miku

Academic writing is usually a mess of jargon that confuses and excludes readers. As I progress through my Master of Science Education program at UC San Diego, I attempt to write my academic papers with the same clarity as my freelance magazine articles. Do I pull it off?

You be the judge.

Link to Paper:

Adolescence 2.0: Cross-Cultural Look at Youth Through An Artist’s Eyes

If you like, take a look at the paper about adolescence. I investigated what adolescence means across cultural and digital divides told through the eyes of visual artist Tara Knight, including an analysis of Hatsune Miku, Japan’s most popular teen vocaloid character.

Spoiler alert:

I conclude that Knight’s work with Hatsune Miku challenges the notion that adolescence is a life stage we outgrow. Miku reveals that digital technology, when applied to art and culture, allows  even the most socially fixed among us can regain access to many possible identities through creative expression.

How to make social media work for you

publicizing-your-scientific-researchI believe in helping scientists, engineers and other professionals authentically promote their core personal projects (e.g., the things we lose track of time while doing, would do for free, or experience with passion).

Traditionally, researchers and scientists make their work known to the world through publications in peer-reviewed journals and indirectly through writers (like me!) and magazines. However, in today’s work world technology has become an integral part of everyday life. It is possible to spread information quickly and directly with social media, which can potentially reach millions of people through direct engagement and community creation. Now researchers and scientists may connect their core personal projects directly with the public.

I lead an engaging workshop that helps professionals uncover and connect with their core projects, and then promote them authentically in the digital space in a way that is not exhausting and boosts career success. I give this workshop as a community service, and would love to talk about how I might help your group. If you like, ping me on Twitter @genevivebjorn to start a convo or click here to learn more about me.

Eat healthier with RecipesinSeason.org

recipesinseasonEating healthy has never been more confusing: eat less cholesterol but eat more good fat, eat more fiber but fewer carbs, eat more fruit and dairy but less sugar. Trying to make sense of it all can drive a person crazy!

That’s why I started RecipesinSeason.org. We focus on eating fruits, vegetables and staples that are fresh, in season and highly nutritious. We share hundreds of quick and easy recipes that you can try tonight.

If you’ve got a great recipe to share, join us as a contributor. The community behind cooking with seasonal foods keeps us sane and happy. Here’s to better health!

Teacher’s conference boosts career success

NSTA-conference-2013-san-antonio-texas

What initially looked overwhelming turned into three days of serious career-boosting.

I have been looking for ways to deepen my practice as a science communicator when I came across a startling figure: California’s demand for new Math and Science teachers in the next 10 years is expected to be over 33,000, according to CTA.org.

Let’s face it, people reading my work in The New York Times or Nature are already literate in science. It makes sense to focus my efforts where I might have more impact. So I have decided to become a high school biology teacher in addition to my work as a science journalist. Not exactly the typical path of progression for a reporter. But then again, my life has rarely gone to plan. [Read more...]

Poke goes East

pokefestival2013Fresh, raw ‘ahi tossed with sesame oil, toasted macadamia nuts, chili pepper and green onion—a pretty typical ingredient list for poke. But the inspiration—and the winning ingredient—was a simple squeeze of lime. The acid made the flavors of the dish really pop, earning chef James Harris from Orange County the top award at last year’s I Love Poke festival in San Diego. The festival returns this year to a sell out crowd savoring only sustainably-harvested fish….more in Hana Hou!

Awarded Idea Grant to develop transformative workshop

crossborder-science-journalism-workshop-logoScience does not stop at the US-Mexico border, and neither should science reporting. But it does. Despite past efforts, some of the most important issues of our time–such as health and the environment–fail to reach the public’s awareness. Together with two co-organizers, Lynne Friedmann and S. Lynne Walker, I hope to change that. [Read more...]

Star talk

The 490-seat Kahilu Theater in Waimea on the island of Hawaii plays host once a month to lectures by world-class astronomers who study the sky with the Keck Telescopes, located atop Mauna Kea, and better, the lectures are free and open to the public….more in Hana Hou!

Digital media fellowship empowers career transition

This week I’m participating in the Knight Digital Media Center’s Independent Journalist Workshop at UC Berkeley. My class is the second ever. I am the only science journalist; others are community news reporters. Highly capable instructors pack our days  with all digital training from every angle–tools and strategies that will move my work from print to the digital age.  My capstone project is to develop my blog about the sense of smell into an engaging, creative online community. It’s an amazing group of people from whom I learn so much. Thanks, KDMC!

Awarded career grant

Three times in the charm! I’ve applied for a career grant from the National Association of Science Writers three times and was successful in the last round. That means that I can now invest in a suit of digital media tools that I need to grow in my career as a journalist. Thanks, NASW!

Two rivers that refuse to meet

A turbulent confluence of the bluewater Amazon River and a major blackwater tributary, the Rio Negro, in northern Brazil creates a phenomenon visible from space where these two rivers meet but refuse to mix…more in ChemMatters.