I just got back from a quick trip to Chicago for the North American Science Slam, put together by EURAXESS. Amazing city, excellent slams, and wonderful people.
I was pleasantly surprised with Chicago as a city, even if everyone drives everywhere. It is pretty nifty. I also was floored by the Field Museum, which officially has my favourite museum exhibit: Plants of the World. As a lover of all things botany, I’ve sought out a lot of similar exhibits, but this was the one ring to rule them all. The exhibit itself was beautiful, instead of boring dried pressed plants, they had a huge variety of super realistic plastic plants, making it a much more life-like experience than usual. More importantly, they focused almost entirely on plants that are important to the human species (foods, dyes, building materials, and more!)… which I think probably gives visitors a much more relatable experience.
Anyway, I was in Chicago to help judge the science slam, and judging them was not easy! They were all excellent slams, and they were all very different from one another. Louise-Emmanuelle Paris played the flute and showed off some parkour skills in her slam. Joseph Meany melted faces with the ever-shrinking history of computer technology.
At the end, Kavita Chandra was the grand winner who will be flying to Europe in 2016. She managed to make her story of researching cancer both relatable and fun, and even got pretty creative with a can of spray-paint.
What a fun event! Thanks again to EURAXESS for generously inviting and bringing me across the continent!
Two last things while on the topic of EURAXESS. Congrats to Leonardo Parreira for winning the Brazil chapter of the Science Slam. Freaking awesome. It was entertaining enough that I enjoyed watching it, even though it was in a language I don’t speak. Now that is some entertaining SCIENCE!
I am particularly excited for Leonardo because I know him – I met him through the magic of EURAXESS. More over, I’ve recently started a partnership with a communication-training group he heads in Brazil, called GATU.
So yeah, life is good.