Beyond research, I believe that scientists have a duty to engage in outreach and science communication through mentoring, presentations and lectures, and the active recruitment of students from diverse backgrounds. My activities through Washington Women, The Graduates, and IHES promote science education and outreach, and inclusion and representation.
I am currently host and producer of a new anthropology outreach project called Washington Women, broadcast on twitter on Wednesdays. Washington Women highlights influential women in Washington History whose stories are under-told and under-heard. To date, more than a 60 episodes have broadcast, featuring women who are poets and authors, like Teiko Tomita and Alice Franklin Bryant, daredevils like Yakima Nation pilot Maud Bolin and mountaineer Fay Fuller, and civil rights activists like Ninfa Tanguma.
In addition to my service on committees, as a mentor, and as a public speaker, while at Berkeley I developed a radio program designed to promote science communication and diversity in the sciences. From 2013-2018, I was the host and producer of The Graduates, a 30-minute radio program broadcast bimonthly on U.C. Berkeley’s independent, non-profit radio station KALX 90.7FM, a Bay Area institution. I recently handed the reins of The Graduates off to current graduate students at UC Berkeley, but The Graduates remains the only science radio show affiliated with UC Berkeley, and one of the only locally produced science programs on any radio station in the Bay Area. Since the pilot episode debuted in 2014, I interviewed more than 50 graduate students about their research. All past episodes of The Graduates are available free to listen on iTunes and via the internet.
While at UC Berkeley, I also worked to broaden the impact of The Graduates by extending the radio interviews into print media, allowing the show to capture the attention of a wider audience even after the broadcast. The Graduates forged a strong relationship with several student groups at Berkeley, resulting in multiple online blog posts as well as interviews with University publications, The Berkeley Graduate and the GradNews. In 2015, I was invited to speak alongside NASA scientists and other PhDs as part of the conference, “Let’s Have an Awesome Time Doing Science” (2015), where my talk highlighted the importance of science communication, public outreach and creating positive environmental change. More recently (2018), I gave a guest lecture in a DeCal class designed for journalism and public health students, entitled, “Exposing Medical Research and its Secrets: An Evolutionary Biologist’s Take on Some of the Most Important Issues in Medical Research Today.”
Integrative Human Evolution Symposium (IHES)
In 2019, I organized the first Integrative Human Evolution Symposium (IHES2019), held in Zurich, Switzerland, with support from a grant from the University of Zurich. The Symposium had four major goals: 1) To provide career development opportunities for junior researchers (graduate students and postdoctoral researchers), 2) To facilitate an interdisciplinary research environment, 3) To promote a platform for diversity in academia and the sciences, and 4) To offer an opportunity for science communication and education. Ten diverse speakers were invited to present research on human evolution from the perspective of diverse fields, including: anthropology, comparative linguistics, geography, paleontology, ecology and evolution, evolutionary medicine, environmental sciences, and philosophy. The theme of the first IHES was ‘What does it mean to be human?’ I hope to organize the second IHES in 2022, theme TBA.
The Daily Californian. 2017. Meet the student DJs at KALX, 55th Anniversary Addition.
GradNews. 2016. Meet Tesla Monson, Host of KALX’s ‘The Graduates.’
The Berkeley Graduate. 2015. The Berkeley Graduate Interviews The Graduates.
Berkeley Science Review. 2014. Archaeology and the Untold Stories of the African Diaspora. http://berkeleysciencereview.com/archaeology-untold-stories-african-diaspora/
Berkeley Science Review. 2014. Dinosaur Eggs and Ancient Mammals.
Berkeley Science Review. 2014. Feeding on the Fall. http://berkeleysciencereview.com/jenna-judge-graduates/
The DailyCal. 2014. Meet the student DJs at KALX.