December brings Part II of our “Thinking Outside the Box” series. While preparing for this issue, I had an interesting email communication with Allison Dennis, a graduate student in the Clark Lab. In her email, she asked a question that was well outside the box: “What if scientists were more conscious storytellers when interacting with members of the community? If we focused on telling stories on our experiences instead of our science, would it help bridge the gap?”
Allison was pondering this question after a recent career workshop about The Story Collider Podcast. Of course I listened to the podcast after Allison’s glowing report. The series is great! I found the scientists’ stories to be an interesting mash up of science and comedy with surprising underlying dramas. In our feature article this month—inspired by the workshop and the podcast—Allison shares her thoughts on using storytelling as a means to connect scientists with the public.
Continuing our theme, Dr. Amber Stratman, NICHD fellow mentor of the year, writes about her mentoring philosophy and what thinking outside the box means to her. Following Dr. Tamás Balla’s article last month, Amber’s thoughts highlight the fellow perspective in particular, as she reminisces about first starting out in a lab.
The last month of the year imparts a tendency toward reminiscing, doesn’t it? If you’re in the mood for a look back at NICHD fellow accomplishments, check out our 2017 Year in Review!
Looking forward, we’re excited to welcome new NICHD fellows, report several opportunities with the NIH Fellows Committee, and announce a new series of social networking events next year, planned by the Fellows Advisory Committee (see December announcements).
Enjoy the issue and see you in the New Year!
Your Editor in Chief,
Shana R. Spindler, PhD
Please send questions and comments to our editor at Shana.Spindler@gmail.com.