MRS Publications receptions
Science Communication Panel Discussion

Talk among the stars

I had my talk today in the EM02 session titled Multiferroics II. As if presenting is not a daunting task enough, I found I was in the same session as Nicola Spaldin, the receiver of Mid-Career Award for her work in multiferroics, Lane Martin, an expert on all-things bismuth ferrite, and two other invited talks by accomplished international researchers in the field of multiferroics. After all those amazing invited talks, I certainly felt like a deflated balloon.

Here's what I think went wrong with my talk:

  1. I did not thank Nicola Spaldin who was chairing the session and introduced me. I did not even introduce myself properly
  2. My attempts at effortlessly bringing humor probably fell flat
  3. I over-emphasized how "in-progress" this work was (I could not help it though! One of the key data was collected on Friday night..)
  4. I might have gone on a too-personal tangent when Dr. Spaldin asked me a question at the end of my slide

However, I was able to make some members of the audience laugh with the cartoons I put in my slides. Being the third last talk of the afternoon session has its challenges because everyone is counting on the magic of caffeine. In addition, I did not run into technical difficulties, no coughing fit made an appearance, and I was able to keep up the coherent flow of slides without running into brain freeze.

Most importantly, I was in a room full of stars in the field of multiferroics and managed to convey my research work with some clarity - that, I consider to be a success. Being new to this field, I think I made a decent impression on the multiferroic community. I hope I am remembered as the girl with a weird sense of humor who tried to use an amorphous material in a field that is based on crystallinity.

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