9th – 16th February, John Borghi (USA)

The intersection between science and humanities is an increasingly popular field of research, attracting researchers from both sides of the divide, including this week’s curator, science communicator and cognitive neuroscientist John Borghi.  I’m looking forward to some behind-the-scenes tidbits from behind the library desk and hearing more about his research area and the science of comic books.

Hi everyone, my name is John Borghi (@JohnBorghi) and I am very excited to be curating @WeTheHumanies this week! I am a science informationist, cognitive neuroscientist, and science communicator, currently living in Brooklyn, New York.

I am interested in communicating science- not just scientific concepts and the results of science experiments, but also the process and culture of science- to non-scientists. In my day job, as the science informationist at The Rita and Frits Markus Library at The Rockefeller University I assist researchers navigate the scientific literature and proactively bring the tools of the library into the laboratory. Though this typically involves tracking down papers, preparing literature summaries, and helping everyone stay compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy, I also teach classes on subjects ranging from including database searching to reference and citation management to using social media to communicate science.

The week before starting work in the Markus Library, I completed a PhD in integrative neuroscience. My thesis was titled “Major depressive disorder is related to a broad disruption in brain regions underlying working memory process,” which is a fancy way of saying that I studied the ways in which depression affects the brain activity associated with remembering pictures of human faces and outdoor scenes over a short time. While in grad school I attended classes at what is now known as the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, which helped to catalyze my shift from research scientist to science communicator.

In addition to my work in the library, I also work on a variety of science communication-related projects. I am the managing editor of The Incubator, a blog run by the Rockefeller University Science Outreach Program and I teach science-related classes for non-expert audiences on topics ranging from the History of Neuroscience, to the Biology of Mental Illness, to the Science of Comic Books.

I am hoping to discuss a variety of things related to communication and science. I hope we’ll discuss communicating scientific concepts to non-scientists, the structure and culture of science, academic publishing, libraries, and, of course, books.


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