The Power of Science Narrative to Teach, Excite, and Inspire Action

This is from Humanity+ @San Francisco, 2012.

The Power of Science Narrative to Teach, Excite, and Inspire Action
As science communicators, we need to do more than just entertain — we need to inform; to persuade; to inspire action. One of the biggest challenges in selling ideas about radical science and technology is engaging and exciting an audience in a way that is non-threatening, believable, and structured in a way that they can relate to personally. You want to get people on-board and excited about your ideas, but if you take it too far on the awe-spectrum without getting that personal connection, it may seem too much like science fiction, and not like something that is easily adoptable for them, in their lifetime. Good science communication is more than just making science accessible — more than just losing the jargon, and more than just reaching out to new audiences. The best science communication uses facts intertwined with a compelling narrative — a delicate balance of awe and reality — that people can relate to on a personal level. If the story feels personally relevant, and they can see themselves as part of the story, then people will be more willing to not only entertain those ideas, but to take action as well.


Get Smarter: How to Design Your Life For Continuous Cognitive Enhancement

Is it possible to increase your intelligence? Absolutely. Do you need technology or cognitive enhancers to accomplish this? Absolutely not. Science shows us that the key to cognitive improvement is keeping your brain active and challenged, while making learning intrinsically rewarding. In this presentation, I will discuss my Five Principles of Cognitive Enhancement, which is a paradigm I developed over 10 years as a behavioral therapist, teaching children how to reach their maximum cognitive potential. I’ll explain why fluid intelligence is important and how it can be improved, by designing a lifestyle for constant, motivating, and rewarding learning experiences. Increasing intelligence takes work, but it is simpler than you may think–and anyone can get smarter, no matter where you start from.

From GSummit 2012, in San Francisco.


Video from BIL 2014 SF: “Creative Disobedience: How, When, and Why to Break the Rules”

Here’s the video from my BIL 2014 SF talk, “Creative Disobedience: How, When, and Why to Break the Rules.” Time is approximately 20 minutes long. Enjoy!


Many people would agree that creativity is the number one key skill for success in this century. However, by definition, creativity requires breaking rules, and defying the status quo. Additionally, sometimes following the rules—and even the laws—can actually stall progress. How do we make a good decision about which rules and laws to break, and which ones to follow?

In order to maximize innovation, creative disobedience must be tolerated, encouraged, and even required, given the situation. Needless to say, doing this effectively is a tricky balance between disruption and maintaining forward progress on the overall goal. The most critical skill then, is understanding when to be creative—and to what degree—given the specific context.

In this talk, I will take you on a full tour of what creativity is, what it isn’t, and why breaking the rules is sometimes necessary for progress. I will also discuss recent research on attitudes about creativity. For example, companies consider creativity one of the most-desired traits in their current and future employees, yet it is rarely rewarded in practice. Why the discrepancy? How can this be changed? Finally, I will give you a short ‘How To’ guide on increasing the creativity in the workplace, where it is highly desired, but often most discouraged.

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