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Make Scientific Research Results Accessible Using Interactive Design
Alice Tirard
Alice Tirard
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Make Scientific Research Results Accessible Using Interactive Design

Help a peer-reviewed molecular biology study reach a non-expert audience by writing an interactive web article explaining the study's methods and findings.

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Fridays
 at
4:00
P.M.
 ET /
1:00
P.M.
PT
8 weeks, 2-3 hours per week
Expert
No experience required
No experience required
Some experience required
Degree and experience required

Description

From grant writing to conference talks, clear scientific communication can make or break the impact of a scientific discovery. This vital but underemphasized skill allows researchers of any level to demonstrate their understanding of complex scientific topics and bring their work to a broader audience. In this Build Project, you'll wear the hat of a Science Journalist, creating an article that uses scientific illustration and interactive code elements to explain a recent discovery in the field of molecular biology. Under the supervision of an experienced Build Fellow, you'll select a recent paper from a prominent scientific journal and write a dense 1–2-page explainer that allows non-expert audiences to understand the findings, scientific context, and cultural relevance of the study. You'll become familiar with the writing conventions of scientific papers as well as data visualization and scientific illustration methods using tools like JavaScript D3 and Inkscape. All this will happen in an environment that simulates the operations of a real team in biotechnology research.

Session timeline

  • Applications open
    June 24, 2024
  • Application deadline
    July 21, 2024
  • Project start date
    Week of July 8, 2024
    Week of
    August 5, 2024
  • Project end date
    Week of

What you will learn

  • Reading and interpreting scientific papers aimed at expert audiences
  • Writing clearly and concisely for a well-defined audience
  • Thinking critically about scientific knowledge-formation in the context of academic publishing
  • Core principles of interactive design and visual communication
  • Using interactive and digital design tools (Vector-based graphics software, html formatting, JavaScript / D3.js)
Build Projects are 8-week experiences that operate on a rolling basis. Selected participants engage in weekly live workshops with a Build Fellow and 2-15 other students.

Project workshops

1
Project Kickoff: Interpreting Scientific Research Papers
2
Research and Argumentation: Investigating Scientific Context
3
Article Scoping: Identifying Your Audience and Their Needs
4
Scientific Writing: Finding the Right Words for Complex Subjects
5
Principles of Digital Design: Focusing Visual Attention
6
Digital Design Tools: Crafting an Interactive Article
7
Audience Feedback: Testing Your Work
8
Article Showcase: Distribute Your Article Online

Prerequisites

  • Commitment to start and finish the project, actively participate in all meetings, and work independently for ~1 hour/week.  
  • Knowledge of Biology: you should have knowledge of biology at the level of an intro college course and be comfortable with concepts like gene transcription and translation, cell diversity across living organisms, and methods of gene sequencing and editing.
  • Writing skills: you should be comfortable writing in English on complex, technical subjects.
  • Digital Design skills: you should have some experience using digital software for design or illustration (Inkscape, Illustrator, Procreate, Krita, etc.) OR some experience with front-end web design (HTML formatting, JavaScript, WordPress, etc.)

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About the expert
Alice Tirard
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Alice
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Alice is a Molecular Biology Build Fellow at Open Avenues, where they work with students leading projects on biological research methods and science communication. Holding a dual degree in genetics and fine art from Yale University, Alice has 3 years of experience in research and science communication across the medical field and biotech. They currently work as Scientific Communication Expert at Dyno Therapeutics, a company applying Machine Learning methods to viral design for gene therapy delivery.

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