I also spoke with Rebecca Dewey, a neuroimaging physicist who spoke at PubhD 12 in January 2015, and has been back several times since as a punter, about her experiences.
Gav: How did you hear about PubhD?
Rebecca: Twitter – I think through something like STEM Ambassadors.
Gav: How did your talk go?
Rebecca: Very well! I think I kept fairly well to plan, and I finished early so we went onto questions as that seemed to make more sense.
Gav: How did you manage to distil years of research down into a 10 minute talk?
Rebecca: I tried to think about what most people seem to be interested in – (1) how my research may or may not impact peoples’ lives, including the motivation for doing it in the first place and (2) some basic practicalities of conducting the studies, painting a picture of the type of experiments I do.
Gav: How did you find preparing a “pub level” talk?
Rebecca: I wasn’t sure that it was possible to do anything to prepare. I had a go at drafting a rough script and then distilled it into a few notecards but didn’t try to memorise it. I think it is easier for a non-expert to understand if it is allowed to flow fairly freely.
Gav: What were the audience questions like?
Rebecca: Great! It was impossible to predict what they would be interested in, and it was a bit of a surprise, but the Q&A was much easier than I thought it would be.
Gav: Finally, what do you make of Kash & Regan as organisers?
Rebecca: They have a brilliant rapport with the audience, and a good routine between them. It seems like they are welcoming and encouraging to new attendees and old-timers alike! The session feels well-organised, never descends into chaos.
I interviewed Rebecca to give another side to the Left Lion PubhD piece but unfortunately, there wasn’t space to include in the magazine so this is the first time that it’s been published