I am passionate about sharing science with the public in an accessible and engaging manner. Many academics are wary of bringing their research to a general audience, especially via popular media. They are concerned that their findings would be sensationalized, misinterpreted, "dumbed down" and so forth. Certainly, this does happen on occasion.
However, I believe it is our moral duty (especially those of us educated by public universities) to overcome this challenge (and fear) and invest the time and effort in disseminating our work beyond academia in the most interesting but precise way that we can. Such greater openness would not only enhance relations between academia and "the real world," but encourage researchers to think bigger and position their work in a larger context.
Science writing and talks for a general audience
Writing AND RECENT BLOG POSTS
- an invited piece on morality and romantic attachment for my professional society's science blog
- an invited piece on the biological roots of political belief for the Association for Psychological Science's magazine The Observer (APS has over 28,000 members consisting of the leading psychology scientists, clinicians, teachers, and administrators)
- a blog post for Science20, which won 1st place for best graduate student science essay for a broad audience. The finalist entries were narrowed down to 10 by website staff and then the 3 winners were selected by a popular vote.
This is a video of a talk I gave at Mindshare50, a 3-day art, science, and technology conference held in May 2012 in downtown Los Angeles. The event theme was "What comes next? For ourselves, our culture, and our planet." I spoke about a growing trend towards a more inclusive, crowdsourced psychological science: why it matters and how to take advange and be part of it. (The talk title is a play on this Internet meme.)
I have also given two earlier MindshareLA talks -- The Science of Love and Attraction (August 2008) and Laws of Attraction (February 2009) which described, as their titles suggest, the latest findings and developments in the scientific study of sex, attraction, and romantic love. Slides from these talks are available upon request.
As an academic I also give presentations at professional gatherings, which are listed on my Publications and CV page. As these talks were not geared towards a general audience I have not included them here but feel free to inquire for details.
External press about my work
A New York Magazine article about the attachment and morality findings: Does being anxious make us more moral? (the answer is "we don't know from our data", despite the journalist's interpretation :)).
A RawStory.com article about my paper on morality and romantic attachment style for the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science: Overly attached girlfriend worried about purity?
UC Irvine article about my dissertation research: Matchmaking 101: Sena Koleva studies romantic relationships, mate selection and the science of love.
Zot Magazine article about my work with my amazing advisor and good friend Dr. Peter Ditto: Morality Unmasked