Just got back from the Future of Genomic Medicine 2015 meeting where I gave a talk about microbiomes. My original plan was to talk about the need for evolutionary and ecological approaches to microbiome studies but I changed my mind a few days before the meeting and decided to switch to talking more about citizen microbiology. I did this because the meeting has a lot of people who think about digital and wearable technology and public engagement in the audience and it just seemed like a good chance to introduce them to the growing personal/citizen microbiology movement.
To help prep for my talk I emailed some colleagues who work on Citizen Microbiology (including a few in my lab like Jenna Lang and David Coil) and asked them if they had any slides I could pilfer. And then I started drafting an outline of my talk (I draft all my talks by hand with pen and paper). Here are my handwritten notes
I realized I would not likely be able to focus enough at home to work on the talk so I kind of waited until heading down to San Diego on Wednesday (talk was on Friday).
I got in pretty late and worked a little on my talk before going to bed. I also emailed the organizers of the meeting to say I was changing the topic of my talk a bit and asked if they could change the online program which they did. Eric Topol in response to my saying I wanted to talk about citizen microbiology and personal microbiomes very wisely suggested that I talk about my vision for the future of microbiome research. I (lamely) had been so focused on Citizen Microbiology that I had not been thinking much about the bigger picture. But once he suggested this notion my talk really congealed (in my head and on paper at least). It is interesting to me how one simple suggestion from someone with vision and perspective can transform one’s thought process so much …
Anyway, the next day I headed over to the meeting venue (by the beach – life is rough in San Diego). I got there in time to hear Francis Collins’ talk. I spent the day sitting outside in the outdoor tent viewing area, pondering my talk and listening to the talks of others. Lots and lots of interesting things presented there. More about this later I hope. Anyway – that evening I worked on my talk some more, headed down to the hotel bar for a bit and then worked on my talk some more. And eventually went to sleep. Friday I spent much of the AM working on my talk in the outdoor tent (while listening to the talks though this time not watching them on the screen since I was a bit too far away from it). And voila – only 30 minutes before the PM session was to begin I finished the prep. I do not like to do this normally but I just felt like my talk would be much better if I re-conceived it and I had to make all new slides pretty much for the whole talk (other than the few I pilfered from colleagues).
I note – I was talking after Marty Blaser and figured I would not have to introduce the human microbiome at all and also that he would give an overview of the risks that come from disturbing the microbiome. Anyway, I gave my talk, and recorded the slideshow with Camtasia. Below are my slides, the video slideshow, and a Storify of the Tweets others posted during my talk.
As is frequently the case, afterwards I felt I was too rushed and that it was not the best talk I have ever given. But that being said, I like the general outline and some of the concepts and figured I should share, warts and all. My biggest regret after talks which I have rushed a bit in preparing is that I usually do not do a great job in mentioning who did all the work I refer to. I try to put people’s pictures and names on all slides and references but I don’t always get this done in time and I worry I screwed this up for a few topics here. Oh well, life goes on …
Here is a slideshow with Audio (which I recorded via Camtasia)
Here is the Slideshare posting of my slides
So – I gave a talk at a meeting on Thursday. The meeting was called “Microbiomes of the Built Environment” and it was sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and run by AAAS.
The meeting organizers, as is often the case, wanted me to submit my slides a few days in advance, in theory to make sure they were loaded into their system and that all worked OK. Well, as usual, I did not do this. I like to make my talks fresh – just before the meeting so that I can incorporate new ideas into them and so that they do not have that canned feeling that a lot of talks do.
My talk was to be 15 minutes long and was to focus on my Sloan Foundation funded project “microBEnet: the microbiology of the built environment network” (see http://microbe.net for information about the project). I figured, I would work on the talk on the plane – five plus hours to edit a talk I had given relatively recently on the topic of this project. And all would be good. Plus, United had told me there would be WiFi on the plane so if I needed any new material I should be able to get it from the web right? Well, the flight took off on time – 8 AM on Wednesday morning. And I opened my laptop once allowed and paid the $15+ dollars for the WiFi and got to work. Then, about 10 minutes later, the WiFi died and despite heroic efforts by the flight attendants, it never came back. And I plugged away at my slides doing some edits of the following presentation.
I had given this talk for the Annual Sloan Foundation meeting in May of 2013. I had other talks about microBE.net but they were focused on specific aspects and this was my most recent talk on the whole project. And, well, I started doing some minor edits on it, but, well, the slides felt too filled with boring text. And it did not seem to me to capture what I wanted to talk about. So I did the one thing that always helps me in such cases. I shut my computer and got our a notebook and started writing out and drawing out what I really wanted to talk about. And I finally started to have something I liked.
I liked this because what we are trying to do with microBEnet is to create an actual network and this was a visual way of representing our network. So then I got a bit more detailed
This was better. We were trying to help people in the field and help others who might be interested get connected, stay connected, and get rapid, easy access to information and tools. For example, we have been curating a reference collection for the field. And this reference collection has a lot of inputs and a lot of potential uses. In my previous talk I just listed some of this and had a screenshot of the web site. But it would be better to show this no?
Now this was feeling even better. I had a visual framework for the talk. Now I could fill in the details of what I wanted to cover in each of the parts of the network diagram.
So now I had some idea as to what I might want to say on these topics. No slides yet, but some idea as to what I might want to cover. And then, still not back on the computer I thought it would be good to write out an outline / the flow of the talk again. So I did.
Still felt good.
Now all I needed was a title ..
And then finally I felt I could go back to the computer. And so I started working on converting this all into slides.
For the remaining 2 hours of the flight I tried but it was slow going. I wanted to make as much as possible be visual and I needed all sorts of new slides and material from the web (no web connection still) and more. We landed. I took a Taxi to the hotel. I worked on my talk a bit from my room. I emailed various people asking for certain images and slides. And then I had to go to the speaker’s dinner. And I got back to my room at about 9:30. And then I worked on my talk until about 3. And finally I was close to being done. Got a very brief few hours of sleep. Got up. Went to the meeting. Did a couple of minor modifications of my slides in the back of the room. Posted my slides to Slideshare. And then gave my talk.
Here are the final slides
Not perfect. But much more visual. Much more networky. Much better at showing what we actually do and try to do on my project. And much fresher to me so it was certainly not a canned talk. Not a polished talk .. but not a canned one.
For more about the meeting, including videos of talks (including mine) see the Storify I made.
Gave a talk here at UC Davis last week. Alas, not my best talk – too rushed. But, anyway, here is a video of the slideshow w/ audio. Title “Phylogeny driven approaches to genomics and metagenomics”
I got invited a while back to give a talk at a “Science in the River City” workshop for 3rd – 12th grade science teachers. I proposed (and they said yes) to the idea of talking about my “Quest for A Field Guide to the Microbes.” I recorded the screen (slides) and audio from my talk using Camtasia and have now posted the slideshow and slides. Here they are:
Talk slideshow with Audio on Youtube:
Slides on Slideshare
Just quick post … gave a talk Thursday at the Bay Area Illumina User’s meeting. I have posted my slides to Slideshare and a Video Slideshow with audio to Youtube.
Jane Lubchenco, head of NOAA, gave a talk at UC Dav is yesterday and I made a “Storify” version of some tweets from it. I am putting it below the “fold” here since it takes up a lot of space and I cannot figure out how to put the “click here for more” feature in the middle of a storify embed.
http://storify.com/phylogenomics/jane-lubchenco-head-of-noaa-talk-at-ucdavis.js[&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;a href=”http://storify.com/phylogenomics/jane-lubchenco-head-of-noaa-talk-at-ucdavis” target=”_blank”&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;View the story “Jane Lubchenco, head of NOAA, talk at #UCDavis” on Storify&amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;]
As many of you must know, I like to share. Sort of an open science thing. Sort of an ego thing. But I like to share my papers, and data and even my talks. Going about sharing ones talks is not completely straightforward alas. A few years ago I started using a really nice tool called Slideshare which is one of many site/systems out there for sharing slides from talks. I have I posted many presentations on slideshare over the years and continue to do so. It has some nice embed functions for example and thus I can put a little flash version of my talk from a few days ago right here in my post
And they have some social features there which are also really nice. But slides are, well, just slides. Much better would be to include audio along with slides.
So recently I have been trying to record audio from talks and post it with my slides. Slideshare has a way to link the audio to the slides so I can then embed a flash presentation with the audio like below:
Of course, some might complain about the focus on Flash for the embedding (which means many apple phones and computers cannot view them but it is still nice to have the embed functions there. But alas, there is one major limitation. The method for synching audio to slides in Slideshare is really painful. It takes forever to do and is cumbersome. Hopefully they will add other options for doing the synching that are less painful. So what I have been doing recently has been to give my presentations using the Keynote software on my Macbook and to use the “Record Slideshow” option which records the audio as well as the slide transition timing. So I did that for my latest talk and then uploaded the video of the slideshow (with audio) to Youtube which allows me to embed it here too:
I also uploaded it to SciVee.tv here:
Not sure which is going to be a better option for slideshows with audio but am experimenting here. Any suggestions for other ways to record audio in synch with slides and to share that with people would be welcome.