I’m giving a talk at the AAAS meeting next month on international physics tests, and they have asked me to provide information that they will duplicate and distribute to the media. Items requested include:
— A one-paragraph biographical sketch (not a C.V.)
— A lay-language summary of your talk, beyond the abstract.
— The full text of your talk or a related (ideally recent) technical
paper, either as a Word file or a PDF. PowerPoint presentations are
acceptable, but a full text will better serve reporters’ needs.
The first two are no big deal, but the third is kind of weird. I don’t usually make my talks up a month in advance, and I never write out the full text. If I’m doing something complicated and new, I’ll do a detailed outline first, then make slides to fit, but most of the time, I just have an idea of what I’m going to do, and the slide-making an outlining are sort of simultaneous processes.
This is partly my own personal style– I write in sort of the same way– and partly a result of training. My Ph.D. work was done back in the days of overhead transparencies, and my advisor used to write out his slides for a talk on the plane to the meeting. The culture of my part of academic physics holds this sort of thing as the norm.
Which makes this a decent excuse for as poll:
And with that, I’m off to generate some PowerPoints to send to AAAS. Play nice while I’m doing that.