Monday, August 2, 2010

21 chemistry talks that you've been to (and some you haven't.)

One of the things I really miss about graduate school is the seminars. Even though I fell asleep through a good many of them, I learned a lot about chemistry and even more about effective ways of presenting accomplished science. Here are a few talks that I've been to -- and I'm guessing that you've been to them, too.

1. Here is a lot of data; I'm not sure what it all means.
2. Everything you know about subject X is wrong.
3. Everything you know about subject Y is right, but here's my spin.
4. This is work I did 20 years ago -- I think it's still interesting. Don't you?
5. I really want this job.
6. Man, I am SO NERVOUS.
7. I think this new methodology will be revolutionary.
8. I'm giving this talk to make you laugh. Why aren't you laughing?
9. Dude, I am super impressive.
10. There's some data in here somewhere -- mostly, I just have an interesting hypothesis.
11. you can't hear me
12. You can't see my slides.   [Highlight to see.]
13. I haven't practiced this talk, and it shows.
14. I memorized this talk, and it shows.
15. This slide is in the wrong place.
16. Dude -- you don't understand. I really want this job.
17. This slide is just wrong.
18. Isn't this idea awesome!!?!?!
19. You don't know it, but you just saw a future Nobel prize winner.
20. I'm out to get a professor in the audience.
21. This talk was designed to get you to fall asleep -- and look, it worked!

UPDATE: John from It's the Rheo Thing adds some excellent ones:

22. I've got all these slides that I've used over the years - let me talk about a few of them, then hunt around for a few more at which point I'll talk some more, and then I'll hunt around some more... (i.e., It wasn't worth my effort to prepare for you).
23. Did you see this new feature in the latest version of Powerpoint?
24. Did you see this other new feature in the latest version of Powerpoint? And what about this one? Or this one? (I know more about Powerpoint than any marketer alive!)
25. This is just an oral version of my newest paper published last month.

6 comments:

  1. 22. I've got all these slides that I've used over the years - let me talk about a few of them, then hunt around for a few more at which point I'll talk some more, and then I'll hunt around some more... (i.e., It wasn't worth my effort to prepare for you).

    23. Did you see this new feature in the latest version of Powerpoint?

    24. Did you see this other new feature in the latest version of Powerpoint? And what about this one? Or this one? (I know more about Powerpoint than any marketer alive!)

    25. This is just an oral version of my newest paper published last month.

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  2. 26. What about "this bombastic seminar is presented in technocolor, with psychedelic molecules, mythical beasts, animations galore, and even a soundtrack! BTW, all will love me and despair!!!"

    I'm not naming anyone in particular, but y'all know what I mean.

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  3. Anon6:52p: That's good -- and of course, you aren't naming ANYONE in particular...

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  4. After Kay-Cee-N catches wind of this comment, he will rise from his lofty throne on Mount Olympus and hunt you down. Your life is forfeit. Fare thee well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Unfortunately, some of Potassium Cyanide's academic progeny have inherited the ornate presentation style. What about slides crammed with way too many structures and reaction details or, better yet, spastic laser pointer movements?

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  6. Pretty funny.

    I would add:

    1) This is all my work...except that slide...and that one...and that one...

    2) I worked on this project with X, Y, and Z and here is where they, not me, screwed up.

    3) Isn't this drawing on overheads/acetates so much better than doing a modern presentation on a computer? You get to rest your eyes while I draw the structures out by hand with a half dried out dry erase pen!

    ReplyDelete