Speaking Science to the Public

April 23, McGriff Alumni House, 7-9pm

Contestants speak on a scientific and/or mathematical concept, theory, or problem to an audience of educated non-scientists. Speakers should explain the significance of the concept, theory, or problem; accurately convey scientific knowledge; adapt material to an educated but non-expert audience; and do so without misrepresenting, diluting, or over-generalizing. Presentations should be 8-10 minutes in length and will be followed by 2-3 minutes of questions and answers. Audio and visual aids are permitted. Research may have been presented to a scientific audience prior to the competition but must be adapted to a public audience. Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.


Students are judged on the following bases:

1. Knowledge of scientific material and related literature.

2. Establishment of significance of the research to the field and to the audience.

3. Accuracy of the presentation coupled with demonstrated ability to speak to an educated but lay (non-scientific) audience.

4. Clarity and eloquence of the presentation (well organized, with appropriate use of language, voice, action, and audio/visual aids).

5. Adherence to the rules of the contest, high ethical standards of speaking, and fair and accurate representation of scientific literature.