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National Science Week 2018: Information Overload with Dr Karl


August is in full swing and that means Science Week events are happening all over the country.


This week, Carla and I went on a little road trip to the University of the Sunshine Coast to attend a free public lecture by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki: Game Changers and Change Makers.


In the space of an hour, Dr Karl covered topics which ranged from celebrating Bertha Benz's contribution to the invention of the motorcar, to myth-busting common misconceptions such as the Bermuda Triangle and the idea that we only use 10% of our brain's capacity.


Dr Karl is a credit to the science communication field, and an excellent example of how to communicate science to a broad audience.


He is so good at this, the USC Indoor Stadium was packed to the rafters with families, students, academics and professionals from all walks of life, all there to hear him speak.


He incorporated an abundance of images and videos into his lecture to break up the topics and keep us hooked from start to finish.


He moved from topic to topic so quickly, he seemed to barely pause for breath, and yet we didn't miss a word.

Most importantly of all, he did not use jargon.


The jargon used in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) often makes it inaccessible to the public.


Dr Karl fed the audience’s curiosity, while sticking to general terminology that everyone understood.


At the end of his talk he opened the floor to questions, one member of the audience asked Dr Karl for advice on how STEM researchers can tackle misinformation in the media.


Dr Karl’s answer: become the media, get involved and correct misleading or incorrect information before it hits the internet.


I left the lecture hall with enough food for thought to keep me mulling it over for the rest of science week.


Get involved in community science events near you, visit the National Science Week events page to see what’s on near you.

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