WHAT IS “talk science with me”?

“talk science with me” is a public engagement program designed at the University of Florida IFAS Extension and piloted in Alachua County in 2015-16. The development and pilot program was supported by grant funds from COSEE-Florida under a National Science Foundation grant. Inspiration for the program came from similar programs from the Ontario Science Center, the Franklin Institute, and the Reuben H. Fleet Center. We thank our sponsors for the funding support and science center colleagues for the ideas.

“talk science with me” is designed to bring university and industry researchers into their communities to have casual conversations about science and engineering and scientists and engineers as real people. Instead of asking folks in our county, especially outlying areas, to come to the university, we go to natural gathering spaces. Instead of research lectures or formal programs, we talk about whatever we and our community members are mutually interested in.

We deliberately chose the name “talk science with me” for several reasons. First, talking is what we do. We want to encourage conversation between scientists and community members, hence the word “with” as opposed to “to”. And finally, you will always see “talk science with me” in all lowercase. We keep it casual. We want to encourage casual connection rather than increase distinction.

Indeed, we recruited researchers from all disciplines of the Colleges of Agriculture, Engineering, and Liberal Arts and Sciences at the university over the course of this project.

If you are a researcher at the University of Florida and are interested in talking about your work and engaging with the public, please contact meganlundequam@ufl.edu.