24/7 Lecture

Write and/or perform a 24/7 lecture for some combination of the Midwood Science website, press release mailing list, and social media outlets. The idea for this assignment came from the annual Ig Nobel Prize Awards organized by the scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research. Each 24/7 Lecturer explains their topic twice…

First, a complete, technical description in 24 seconds. Then, a clear summary that anyone can understand in 7 words.

Follow these links to see 2 examples and 3 examples of actual 24/7 Lectures.

This can be done as a blog post for the class website, a performance piece for social media, or both. (More credit will be awarded for doing both.)

Blog post

A fast talker could probably squeeze out 2½ words per second or 60 words in 24 seconds. Write a summary of your research project in 60±10 words that is not afraid to use technical language. Then write a 7 word summary that is poetic, clever, or witty. Include at least one original graphic element, which means no artwork "from the internet". A graphic element could be a photograph (natural or staged), a drawing (freehand or technical), or a graph (if it is interesting or has special visual appeal). Also, come up with a very short title for your "lecture".

If you would like to do this part of the assignment, submit it to Mr. Elert via email as a unformatted plain text message with your full-resolution graphic element attached (no copies of photographs of screenshots of images copied into Google Docs forwarded as an attachment to an email). When it is found to be good enough to go on the class website it will be posted for you. After several entires have been posted they will be combined into one message and sent out to the Midwood Science press release mailing list.

Performance piece

Imitate the style of the examples linked above. Reading a script is totally fine. Find someone to be your timer. They don't have to dress like a football referee (unless that's what they do) or use a whistle (although that would be true to the spririt of the original). Have them hold you to a strict time limit. If you exceed it, they need to cut you off abruptly. If you are part of a team, have one member read the 24 second technical description and another read the 7 word summary.

If you would like to do this part of the assignment, submit your recording to Ms. Goldstein.