About this blog: Each summer Emory University’s Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology undergraduates come to Paris to learn a little about the history and the current neuroscience research in France. This year their assignment will be to relate their experiences outside of the classroom to neuroscience in Paris via this blog. Wherever their curiosity takes them, they will relate it to neuroscience. At the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa? Perhaps that leads to the question of “how does the brain process portraiture?” Attempting to buy “une baguette” using nonexistent French language skills might raise the question “does brain activation differ between monolinguals and bilinguals?”
This blog will attempt to educate and enlighten about the unique intersection of Paris and neuroscience. The students will answer their questions by searching the current research findings and describing the complex information to a non-science and non-technical audience. Thus, the ultimate goal for these blogs is for the students to become more adept and analyzing complex and complicated scientific research and then communicating the important findings in an accurate and appropriate level for the general audience.
It is important to note that these blogs will likely represent these students’ first attempts at translating complicated research for a non-scientific audience. Their blogs might misrepresent the science or might be written at too high (or too low) of a level for the audience. Robust comments and critiques are welcome and encouraged; their improvement will come via quality feedback. Ultimately, it is imperative that our future scientists, doctors, health professionals, science writers, etc. develop these communication skills to effectively inform and educate the public so that we all can make evidence-based decisions about our life, health, or public policy.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Kristen Frenzel is a Senior Lecturer in the Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Program (NBB) at Emory University. She also co-Directs the NBB Summer Study Abroad program in Paris, France.