The secret of great scientists? They don’t watch TV.

I have been re-examining how to best manage my time. My goals have been to find a better way to squeeze out every last ounce of productivity from the time alotted for work (during ‘regular work hours’, nights, and weekends) as well as how to harvest even more time from my day for work (without completely destroying any hope of balance).

During my proscribed organic problem solving time, I came across a suggestion to check out The Secret Life of Scientists, which seems like something @2020science may have recommended. What a great show and idea to get people to look at science differently! The basic premise is that they show a garden variety scientist, but then they reveal their ‘secret’ life or interest as well. A couple of faves include Microbiologist/Professional Wrestler, Game Developer/Clarinetist, and Biochemist/Pageant Queen. If nothing else, you should at least check out some of the clips and ’10 Questions’ such as for Mark Siddall. Unsurprisingly, they asked this leech expert: Twilight or True Blood? His answer? “Are these movies? I don’t have TV.”

Ok, that’s not *that* unusual. I went to pharmacy school with a guy who didn’t own a television. He and his wife, a physician, thought there were better ways to spend their time. Sure, he was easily one of the top three minds of the entire class, but he totally missed out on some pop culture references during conversations! I also saw this same TV deficiency in a couple other Scientists videos like Climatologist/Juggler Gavin Schmidt who was asked: Al Roker or Willard Scott? His Answer? Who?

Perhaps I need to rethink my TV approach, in which I don’t even count watching Arsenal or Titans games because…well, that’s watching sports, not television shows. I’ll watch some TV shows telling myself it’s a way to unwind or disengage and relax. I do think there is some legitimate truth to that. However, we are still (for now) in the era where TV has replaced religion as the opiate of the masses…so perhaps I should book a brief stay in television rehab. In the meantime, I am going to go finish another manuscript and wonder if I could finish twice that many in the same time were I sans television.


The Science Behind Engaging Students in Class

I have been experimenting with one of my previous lectures, How To Fight Lecturalgia, in terms of incorporating the feedback, questions, and discussions that have followed after presenting it at several universities.  This new presentation is titled, The Science Behind Engaging Students in Class.  My primary aim was to make the scientific or evidence-based approach I used more readily apparent.  I specifically wanted  to enhance its literature-driven  model to give some depth as to the ‘why’  of the recommendations to augment the ‘what’.  So this presentation represents the attempt to provide theoretical and research underpinnings for use of an audience response system as well as visual design and cognitive load elements used to engage students.