On a Wednesday evening, the Streets Pub and Grub in midtown Sacramento was packed. Though, it was oddly quiet for a busy night. The crowd’s attention was focused on Eric Walters, a microbiology Ph.D. student studying the parasite Giardia.
“Though over a billion people are infected by [Giardia] every year and suffer from diarrhea and malnutrition, not a lot of people study it,” Walters said, standing in front of a screen which usually plays sports games. “The papers that do get published on it end up in journals with names like ‘Neglected Tropical Diseases.’ Why does nobody care?”
Walters’ goal that night was to make his audience care.
Welcome to Sacramento Science Idol, an outreach event organized by science communicators, including UC Davis graduate students and alumni. Each of the 10 presenters had three minutes to present science research in a succinct manner digestible to the public. The event was hosted by the Powerhouse Science Center, Capital Science Communicators and Science Says, a student-run organization focused on cultivating science communication in the UC Davis community.
“We founded Science Idol as a way for young scientists to actually talk about science to the public in a local bar,” said Don Gibson, the event’s host and an integrative genetics and genomics Ph.D. student. “We want to use the public venue as an accessible way to teach science to the community.”
About UC Davis Graduate Studies
Graduate Studies at UC Davis includes 99 dynamic degree programs and a diverse and interactive student body from around the world. Known for our state-of-the-art research facilities, productive laboratories and progressive spirit – UC Davis offers collaborative and interdisciplinary curricula through graduate groups and designated emphasis options, bringing students and faculty of different academic disciplines together to address real-world challenges.
UC Davis graduate students and postdoctoral scholars become leaders in their fields: researchers, teachers, politicians, mentors and entrepreneurs. They go on to guide, define and impact change within our global community.
For information on Graduate Studies’ current strategic initiatives, visit the Graduate Studies strategic plan page.