Episode 46 – Interview with industry and commercialisation scientist Dr Josh Chu-Tan

This week we had the great pleasure of talking with Dr Josh Chu-Tan who until very recently was the Business Development Manager for the College of Health and Medicine (CHM) based in the ANU Office of Business Engagement and Commercialisation as well as a Research Fellow at JCSMR with the Clear Vision Research Group. Josh completed his PhD in 2019 and was hired as a postdoc and lecturer in Medical Physiology by the ANU Medical School. Since his PhD, he has published 16 papers with 6 as first author and won an NHMRC Ideas Grant as a CI. Josh then moved onto a more industry-facing role at the start of 2022 as the Business Development Manager for CHM allowing him to foster industry relationships and create partnerships and commercialisation opportunities from academic research.

Josh has won a number of awards throughout his research career. In 2016, he won the ANU 3MT and went on to also win the Asia-Pacific 3MT competition which allowed him to travel to Berlin for the Falling Walls Finale where he was finalist for Young Innovator of the Year. In 2019, Josh was invited to give a TEDx talk at TEDxChristchurch that later was chosen to be a global featured TED talk with over 1.7 million views now. He was one of the ABC Top 5 in Science in 2021 and was an ACT Tall Poppy Award winner for 2022.

You can follow Josh and learn more about his work here:


Jen (00:00:00)
Hello and welcome to Let’s Talk SciComm, a podcast by the University of Melbourne Science Communication Teaching Team.
I’m Associate Professor Jen Martin and my wonderful cohost is Dr Michael Wheeler and we believe that science isn’t finished until it’s communicated.

Jen (00:01:02)
Hello everybody, welcome to another episode of Let’s Talk SciComm.
I’m Jen and I’m so thrilled as always to be joined by you Michael. How are you going?

Michael (00:01:14)
I’m doing very well today Jen. Got out for a bit of a walk in the sunshine finally, this morning. So got to soak it up while we can down here in Melbourne. But no, I’m doing well today Jen.
I’m very excited for today’s episode because today’s episode actually brings me back to a pivotal moment in my science communication journey. We talked on a previous episode about a pivotal moment that you had with Fresh Science. My Fresh Science equivalent is competing in the Three-Minute Thesis competition as a young PhD student back in 2017.

Jen (00:01:50)
That’s not that many years ago, mister. You’re trying to make me feel old.

Michael (00:01:56)
Well, well I was going to follow up and say I still feel like a young PhD student.
I wonder like, will I ever stop feeling like a young PhD student?

Jen (00:02:04)
I don’t think I can answer that question. You let me know in a few years.

Michael (00:02:10)
But it was a great experience. I was the winner of the UWA competition, which meant I got to go to Brisbane and compete in the national finals with I think 50 other university winners from all around Australia.
Incredible experience. You know, incredibly exciting, traveling up there. I think the university put me up in a hotel as a poor PhD student. You know, and then they have free biscuits and tea and coffee. So you know, that was the highlight of the trip.

Jen (00:02:40)
Did you raid the mini bar? Is that what you’re trying to tell me?

Michael (00:02:52)
I can’t remember. It was all a blur.
But no, that was only the start of the you know, incredible experiences because meeting all of the other contestants and watching all of their highly polished 3MTs was just a great experience.
And it was one talk that really stood out among all others, which was Josh Chu-Tan’s talk on targeting the root cause of vision loss, which I know we use in our teaching Jen.

Jen (00:03:17)
We sure do.

Michael (00:03:19)
It was so good. It went on to win the national final.
And today we are chatting with the now Dr. Josh Chu-Tan. Welcome to the podcast.

Josh (00:03:28)
Thank you very much, Jen and Michael. Thanks for having me.

Jen (00:03:30)
Well, congratulations on firstly doing so well in the 3MT. All those many, many years ago when you were both so young. But yeah, everything…

Josh (00:03:39)
Blast from the past for sure. Blast from the past.

Jen (00:03:41)
But also everything you’ve gone on to do since then, which I’m super excited to chat about with you today.

Josh (00:03:46)
Thank you.

Michael (00:03:47)
Do you still feel like a young PhD student, Josh?

Josh (00:03:50)
I do, Michael. I think after you said that, I was thinking, I’d say I don’t think my mindset ever changed from that.
And I think every year I go to the university and see the first year students coming in, I’m just thinking, Oh God, they look so young now. They shouldn’t be here. Like I’m still a young PhD student.

Michael (00:04:04)
Yeah, yeah. Well maybe for me, it’s because maybe that’s when my you know, my life peaked.

Josh (00:04:11)
It’s all downhill from there, yeah?

Michael (00:04:13)
Yeah, yeah. But, but not downhill for you, Josh. I know it was a pivotal experience for me, but I think because you’ve won it, it must have been a pivotal to the power of pivotal experience for you.
And some of our listeners might be thinking, you know, what happens when you win the national competition? What happens after that? Because it must open a lot of doors.
I think well, first of all, there’s an immediate prize. I think, was it 5000 dollars prize money?

Josh (00:04:37)
I think so. Yeah, I think it was around that.

Michael (00:04:40)
And then also a trip to Europe to take part in the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin. So I guess those were the kind of the immediate outcomes from winning that talk. What was that like, Josh, going over to Berlin?

Josh (00:04:53)
Oh it was, to this day, it was still probably one of the best conferences I have ever been to. It was an incredible experience.
So for those of you who don’t know, who are listening, Falling Walls is a bit of a conglomeration of a whole bunch of different topics. You know, you go from politics to art to science to medicine to tech.
And if you win the Asia Pacific Three Minute Thesis, you gain entry into the Falling Walls. They call it the lab finale. And those are all kind of PhD students. I think early postdocs as well are able to join from around the world.
And it’s a similar thing. It’s a three minute pitch based on your research in front of everyone. And it was yeah, it was phenomenal to hear all the different works. And I think that’s one of the things I really liked about the Three Minute Thesis as well, the fact that you get to hear about everyone’s work in such a different way and hear all the cool things that are happening.
But in addition to that, we got to attend the actual Falling Walls Conference. And that in itself was phenomenal as well. It was almost a series of TED Talks in a way.

Michael (00:05:55)
Oh, wow.

Josh (00:05:56)
Yeah, and just the organization of it was Oh just, it blew my mind.
And speaking of biscuits from the hotel, there was so much free food. It was great.
As a PhD student, it was one of the best things.

Michael (00:06:08)
Oh, that’s what I love to hear. Yeah.
We have to sign up, Jen. Sounds great.

Jen (00:06:13)
Well, I’ve been fortunate enough to MC the local kind of final of Falling Walls here in Melbourne a couple of times.
And yeah, just phenomenal people with incredible ideas presented in a really compelling way. Yeah, it’s just gold. Just love it.

Josh (00:06:27)
Yeah, it’s really good.

Michael (00:06:29)
As you say, all the the quality of the talks sounds like they were quite, quite high.
And yeah, you mentioned TED Talk standard there. And you would know something about that because you’ve also gone on to do a Ted talk. I checked this morning, it’s been viewed over 1.7 million times.
It’s just very impressive.

Josh (00:06:49)
Thank you.

Michael (00:06:50)
For the listeners, Josh has also picked up an impressive number of awards for SciComm, including the ACT Tall Poppy Award and an ABC Top Five Media Residence in Science Award.
Josh also has experience working as an editor for Springer Jobs, which is a subdivision of the Springer Nature Publishing Group over in London. Were you based in London for that?

Josh (00:07:13)
No, no, but that’s actually one of the things that came out of the 3MT, Michael.
So that was, if you would remember, Springer Nature actually sponsored the Asia Pacific event.

Michael (00:07:22)
Ah, yeah, yeah. That’s right.

Josh (00:07:24)
Yeah so, as part of that and going to the Falling Walls after that, the Springer Nature team reached out and I was able to do the internship with them. And it was done during my PhD. So I wasn’t able to go to London, unfortunately. But we were, I was kind of paired with one of the editors there and essentially just helped write a number of blogs for the Springer Nature website, which is really, really cool.
And part of that was actually also… So I had some that were just of my own choosing in terms of the topic. And then I had the opportunity to actually interview some researchers from around the world for a photo competition that they were doing as well.

Michael (00:08:00)
Yeah, wow.

Jsoh (00:08:01)
And then write a piece based on all of those interviews.
So yeah, that stemmed from the 3MT, which is awesome.
There’s so much that can come from such a short pitch, I guess.

Michael (00:08:10)
Yeah, that’s incredible. It sounds like great experience, you know, getting to communicate about a variety of topics, which I think for me is part of the attraction.
And I know for you, Jen as well. We’re not just interested in one area of science, we’re actually interested in all areas of science.

Jen (00:08:25)
Absolutely. That’s the thing for me, I just decided I don’t want to be an expert in one thing. I want to be a jack of all trades who gets to hear about all sorts of different science.
And I think what you’re saying about the conference and the 3MT, you know, hearing all of these different topics. I think for Michael and I, that’s one of the things we love about our job, because we work with so many research active students who are developing their skills by communicating about their research.
So you know, when we do our marking, we’re hearing about all of the current research projects across every discipline in science. And it’s just awesome to learn what people are doing. It’s really exciting.

Michael (00:08:56)
Incredibly for me, my hunger and thirst for hearing about other areas of science is even greater than my hunger and thirst for hotel biscuits and complimentary tea.

Jen (00:09:06)
That is saying a lot, Michael.

Josh (00:09:09)
That’s a high bar. That’s a high bar.

Michael (00:09:10)
It is a high bar. But Josh, I mean, that’s just the science communication stuff that you’ve done.
Because I know that after you completed your PhD, you’ve gone on to be a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer working in the area of ophthalmology and vision science.
And more recently, you’ve also taken up a position as a business development manager at ANU, which I’m definitely keen to ask you a little bit more about.
Before we get there, though, Josh, I would like to start by asking you to take a step back. I’m really curious to know, you know, how you got into science, and specifically vision science in the first place. Could you always see yourself in that area?

Josh (00:09:51)
I saw what you did there, Michael. Yeah, vision science, ophthalmology, that was never on my radar initially, to be completely honest. And I got the advice when I was going to, into my honours year to really choose the right supervisor, choose the right team, and the project will come. And so I really took that advice on board.
And so when I came across the lab that I end up working with, I gelled really well with the team as well. And I could just, I could see myself working there. I mean you both, you would know, you have to spend a lot of time with each other in a, in a research career. And so that was incredibly important for me. And that’s ultimately how I chose it.
And then they were working on the retina, they were working on therapies for macular degeneration. And the more I read about it, the more I was engrossed in it, that I guess the innate curiosity of everyone that’s doing research.
So yeah it just, it just continued on. And I just I guess kept finding more questions that I wanted to answer within the field, even though that’s not initially what I had you know, set out to do. But it worked really well in the end, I think.

Jen (00:11:04)
Isn’t that wonderful? ‘Cause you know, we often say to people, any science can be made interesting.

Josh (00:11:09)

Jen (00:11:09)
And I think you’re a perfect example of that, that when you had the right team and supports around you, this area that you hadn’t necessarily had this burning passion for previously suddenly became just the most fascinating thing and you absolutely love it.

Josh (00:11:22)
Absolutely, absolutely. I mean, that’s 100% my thinking as well, Jen.
And one of the main things, you mentioned the ABC media residency before Michael, and one of the main things they were teaching was that there are stories everywhere. Right? There are stories all around us and that’s how we can convey what we do to the world, I guess so…

Jen (00:11:44)
And so tell us then, Josh. You know, there you are, you found this lab that you really love working with, you found an area of science that you’re finding fascinating, you’re getting more and more into it.
At what point in that journey did you realise that science communication was a thing, something that you were good at? And also, I guess, something that you not only decided for yourself that you were going to invest time in, but that you convinced your supervisors and the people around you that this was a worthy thing to spend time on because that’s, that’s not always a foregone conclusion, right?
For a lot of researchers, it’s like, No, you don’t have time to write that article or do that blog or, or you know, that podcast. Tell us about your journey into science communication.

Josh (00:12:22)
Yeah, you’re spot on, Jen. It’s… it can be a fight sometimes with, depending on your supervisor, these, I guess, I mean, people say they’re extracurricular, I don’t necessarily believe that. I think it’s part and parcel with the job in terms of research. But…

Jen (00:12:37)
100% agree. It’s not extracurricular.

Josh (00:12:41)
Yeah, exactly, exactly. But I guess, I don’t think it came naturally to me, I think it was something that I was always a bit nervous about and still am when I go up to talk. You know, [to] see that what you’re saying to the audience is resonating with at least some people, I think that’s a really unique and incredible feeling to have.
And that’s something that stuck with me, really helping move that along. But when you think about it, the audiences that you can reach by speaking are potentially way more vast than anyone that’s going to read your paper.

Michael (00:13:16)
Oh yeah, I mean, 1.7 million views on your TED Talk, for example.

Josh (00:13:21)
Yeah well, any of our 3MT videos as well, Michael,
I think, you know, it’s a three minute pitch. People in this day and age where our patience is so low.
You know, I get annoyed if I have to watch a five second ad on YouTube.

Michael (00:13:33)
Just listening to you speak Josh, it’s really interesting to hear you say that you actually get nervous or that speaking doesn’t come naturally to you. Because from my perspective, you know, sitting in the audience and watching your 3MT talk, you didn’t seem nervous at all.
And I think a lot of the things that you’ve gone on to do, I guess have been communicating, but communicating maybe under a little bit of pressure on stage in front of large audiences. Which yeah, I mean I think, I think a lot of you know, a lot of people find public speaking doesn’t actually come naturally.
So yeah, I’m just curious to get your thoughts on that as someone who this doesn’t come naturally. How have you gone on to perform so well? And maybe more specifically, how do you deal with nerves?

Josh (00:14:20)
I would say everyone gets nervous, Michael. I think even the most confident speakers, I doubt that there’s not you know, a funny feeling in the stomach before you go up to speak in front of a lot of people.
And you know, I get nervous because I care about something. For me, it’s just about understanding that you are the one presenting, you are the one that understands the work the most that you’re presenting, most of the time, I’d say most of the time.
And yeah, for me, it’s really about that tone of voice, I think, to try to slow everything down, but also be able to have a tone of voice that projects confidence, even though inside you’re feeling really nervous, right?
So at times, I remember my first ever public speaking talk was when I tried to go for head boy when I was year six of the school, year seven. And that was genuinely my first time speaking in front of you know, an audience of my class. And I was, and my knees were buckling, quite literally buckling. And it was, it was you know, really nerve wracking. But I remember my classmates saying that, “Oh, you know, you sounded really good, but we could see your knees were shaking a lot”.
So that’s kind of when I started realising, Okay, right. So I was able to kind of control my voice in a way that could still sound, I guess, confident in the information that I was conveying, even though I was incredibly nervous.

Jen (00:15:47)
I think as you say, the very end of the day, the nerves are actually a really good sign.

Josh (00:15:52)
They are.

Jen (00:15:53)
We say to our students, “You know, if you don’t feel nervous at all, then really ask yourself, why are you bothering to do this thing?” Because if you don’t feel any trepidation at all, then either you just don’t care about the outcome or you don’t care about the audience.
And people, you know, your, your friends seeing your knees buckling, that’s just them going, Oh well, good on him for getting up and facing his fears and doing it right?
Like what’s the worst that can happen if someone sees you visibly nervous? It’s not the end of the world.

Josh (00:16:17)
Yeah. No, exactly. I agree.
I think, you know, I think it’s a lot more telling for an audience when you can tell someone that doesn’t care than when you can tell someone’s nervous.
You know, I think, and we’ve all been in the audience when we’ve seen someone talking that just doesn’t want to be there and you can tell they don’t care. And it’s, if they don’t want to be there, why should we be there as well? So…

Jen (00:16:39)
Yeah, not only is it boring as an audience member, but you just feel really disrespected.
You know, just wasting your time, right?

Josh (00:16:42)
Yeah, you do, absolutely.

Jen (00:16:43)
And I think one of the most important things we can do is show audiences respect because people’s time and time and attention are probably the two scarcest things they have really.

Josh (00:16:52)
Exactly. Exactly.

Jen (00:16:54)
But Josh, it occurs to me that some of the things that you’ve done, like the 3MT and the TED Talk and the ABC media residence, I’m pretty sure that some of those come with some training.
So I’d love to hear — in your journey to being this incredibly proficient and confident science communicator. You know, what training have you had?
Were there common messages that you kept hearing? What did you learn? You know, what have you taken away during those, those events?

Josh (00:17:19)
Yeah, it’s a really good question.
Before the three minute thesis, I hadn’t actually had any formal training in a way. But having listened to good well, people that I think are good speakers and people that I think are not as engaging speakers and trying to dissect and figure out what exactly makes that tick, right? And what exactly in their talk and both what they’re saying and how they’re saying it makes them so enthralling to listen to.
Something that I always didn’t like when I… even very early on in my research career was when people tried to cram too much information into a talk. You tend to have in a conference, tend to have 10 or 12 minutes for a conference talk. And it was just my biggest pet peeve when people thought that a 10 minute talk meant a one-hour lecture condensed into 10 minutes.

Michael (00:18:09)
Yeah, yeah.

Josh (00:18:10)
It’s just not the case. Like, a 10 minute talk is a 10 minute talk. Arguably a 10 minute talk is a six, seven minute talk elongated a little bit.
And so for me, the three minute thesis was the perfect chance for me to try that myself in terms of showcasing a way of getting enough information out there that people are still incredibly interested, but you don’t have to bombard them with, with data, right? Because ultimately it is about storytelling, right?
For me, I think I have two main teachings that I try to convey when I’m I guess, teaching people how to do the public speaking, how to convey their message.
And the first is to build a story, right? Even in science and even in hard sciences, there’s still a story. There really is. And you have your protagonist, you have your antagonist, you have a setting. You know, you have a climax and you have a conclusion, you have all of that. And it’s just hard to see because normally you write a paper or normally it’s just hard data. But if you really boil down to it, there’s a story there.
The other key thing really is to know your audience. You have to understand who you’re speaking to. You know, the 3MT was a very general audience, so you had to build it around that. But you’re not going to do your 3MT talk to a conference full of experts in your field. It’s not going to resonate the same.
You’re not going to do a conference talk to politicians if you’re trying to gain government funding. You’re not going to do a talk you give to politicians to a bunch of school students if you’re just doing a school tour or teaching.
So really you have to think about your audience every single time you make a presentation and it has to be tailored towards them. Otherwise there’s, there is no point. And they can also tell that you haven’t put in that effort to make it digestible to the relevant people in the audience at the time.

Michael (00:20:19)
And you mentioned there those are the two main things that you try and convey, that you try and teach when you’re teaching people how to do some of this communication.
And so is that part of this role that you’ve taken up last year, which is the business development manager role?

Josh (00:20:37)

Michael (00:20:38)
Yeah, curious to hear about your transition to taking up that role. What’s involved there?
We had a bit of a chat beforehand. I think you gave me a little bit of a sense that it involves encouraging other researchers to engage with industry.

Josh (00:20:53)

Michael (00:20:53)
Which I think is really, really interesting.
So yeah, just curious to get your thoughts on what is the value of engaging with industry and what you actually do as part of that role to, to facilitate that?

Josh (00:21:06)
Hmm yeah, no, for sure.
Yeah, when I told my supervisor I was moving into business development, he has… he never stopped saying that I’ve moved to the dark side now. So I will speak on behalf of the dark side.

Jen (00:21:13)
But where’s your Darth Vader mask? Come on.

Michael (00:21:16)
Can you just change your voice now?
Do a Darth Vader voice for the rest of the interview?

Josh (00:21:20)
I wish I could. That would be a whole another level of confidence in voice.
But yeah so, so a big part of the role is trying to engage with industry for the research that we have going on. So I was specifically the business development manager for the College of Health and Medicine at the ANU.
So really trying to take the research that we have and get industry interest on it to facilitate kind of collaborations, to try to get partnerships going, potentially licensing deals, and ultimately try to you know, commercialize a lot of the work that we’re doing and get it into the clinics.
So yeah, a big part of it was to understand, again, understand my audience. Industry has a very different language. They have a very different way of communicating and approaching that aspect of it. So being able to understand that and pitch at the right level was incredibly important.
You also had to know, are you pitching to another business development manager? Are you pitching to their lead scientist? Are you pitching to their CEO? Maybe their CEO has a PhD background.
And part of the role was to help our academics in being able to do that efficiently. Getting funding in research is obviously incredibly hard in most places right now.
You know, if it’s specifically, if you’re just looking at your standard government grants, national grants, the competitive landscape is insane.
There’s so much money in industry. There’s so much there. You know, we just had to learn how to tap into it. You know, and part of that is the pitch.

Jen (00:22:57)
So Josh, if someone’s listening, sort of thinking, “Oh, what I do does have relevance in the real world. I’d really like to engage with the industry, but I’m a bit scared. You know, I don’t really know what that looks like because I haven’t had that opportunity to learn that language or to be exposed to those audiences.”
Like what’s your key advice to them? How does somebody learn how to pitch to these different audiences?

Josh (00:23:19)
The key thing with industry is, is getting straight to the point, right? That can be different compared to other ways and we’ve been doing things, right? Only showing relevant data. We build papers on trying to really, “Oh, this is all the stuff that we’ve done around the space.” They don’t really care except for the one or two graphs that show that something works.
A lot of companies, if you’re actually just pitching to say, potentially get a partnership to develop a drug or something like that, they don’t really care too much about your publications either. They don’t hear like, “Oh, I’ve published you know, 50 times in this journal.” Like, “Okay, can you just show me that one graph that I want to see?”
You know, it’s that kind of thing to get people on the side to understand their language and to know what they’re actually looking for. Again, it’s all about tailoring to that audience.
I guess another key point is the who cares factor, which is the question, I think is actually a question you should even be asking yourself for any presentation. But I guess specifically for industry in this case, you have to make them care, right? They’re going into it wanting to care about it ’cause they want to find something cool as well.
You have to give that to them on a silver platter. You have to tell them straight up, “This is why you should care about it. This is where the hole in the market is. This is where nothing exists except for the work that I’m doing right now. And this is the data to back that up.”
Like really clean, really simple, really straight to the point. And just tells them, “Okay, this is why we should care about this.”

Michael (00:24:53)
Yeah no, that’s a really good point.
And yeah, I mean, something that our audience cares a lot about I think is the rapid fire questions we have at the end.

Michael (00:25:03)
We have gotten to that time of the podcast, where we must move on and ask you some rapid fire questions, Josh.

Michael (00:25:16)
First one I’d like to ask is: If you had to pick an alternative career to what you’re doing now, what would it be?

Josh (00:25:27)
Professional athlete, 100%.

Michael (00:25:33)
Ahh, didn’t even have to think about it.

Josh (00:25:34)

Jen (00:25:34)
Are we allowed to ask which sport?

Josh (00:25:39)
Ooh, that’s tougher. Yeah, that’s tougher.
So growing up, it would have been either baseball or tennis.

Jen (00:25:44)
I love it. Awesome.
Okay, question 2. What’s your proudest professional moment?

Josh (00:25:52)
It would have to be the TED Talk. Yeah. It was an incredible experience.
And to have it actually be chosen as a featured TED Talk was just dumbfounding, really incredible.
I wouldn’t expect it.

Michael (00:26:03)
And it was over in Christchurch, right?
And did you went to high school over in Christchurch?

Josh (00:26:09)
Yeah, so I grew up there. We moved from the States when we were 10. So I grew up in Christchurch.
And again, a lot of it stemmed from the 3MT. They found my talk online.
And they invited me over back home to give the TEDx. So yeah, incredible, incredible experience.

Michael (00:26:24)
Wow, I can only imagine it must have been amazing.
All right Josh, Twitter or Instagram? What’s your favorite?

Josh (00:26:30)

Michael (00:26:31)

Josh (00:26:32)
Yeah, Instagram.

Michael (00:26:32)

Jen (00:26:33)
Well, visual communication is very important. So…

Josh (00:26:36)
Yes, it is. It is.

Jen (00:26:37)
Question 4 Josh.
What is your favorite science related movie or book or joke?

Josh (00:26:43)
Oh movie, book or joke?
This is a tough one.
Yeah, this is a tough one.

Michael (00:26:49)
Told you.

Jen (00:26:49)
We warned you, it’s not meant to be fun and games coming on a podcast, you know.

Josh (00:26:53)
Yeah, yeah.
I mean, I don’t know if this technically counts as [a] science movie, but A Beautiful Mind about John Nash.

Jen (00:27:00)
Totally counts as science.

Josh (00:27:02)
Yeah, yeah. And in his career and his life. Princeton was somewhere that I just really admired as, as like a place and a university and my dad is an academic.
So just kind of seeing, you know, a movie based in an academic background and having that backdrop and setting was really cool to me and being, research as being the forefront was awesome. Yeah.

Jen (00:27:22)
Yep, great choice.

Michael (00:27:23)
Yeah, good choice.
So final question Josh. You’ve given us some great advice already around science communication.
If you had to pick a very top tip for effective science communication, what would it be?

Josh (00:27:36)
I think crafting a story. I think making it a story is so important.
That’s something that still also surprises people, I think. When I say “There’s a story in your work”, like, “No, there’s not. What are you talking about? I’m working on a chemokine that’s you know, working on this inflammation or whatever.” I was like, “that’s the story”.
You know, you have it right there, at your fingertips. Just craft it into that storytelling way that will all of a sudden resonate with a whole bunch of people and then you can tailor that, right? But you have to have that story down first.
So that would, that would be my top tip.
There’s stories everywhere. It’s all around us.

Michael (00:28:16)
Well Josh, I think as you were speaking, you know, Jen and I were nodding along enthusiastically because a lot of what you were saying really resonates with a lot of what we teach about as well.

Josh (00:28:25)
Oh great.

Michael (00:28:26)
You know, from not trying to cram in too much information, crafting a story. You know, nerves are actually a positive. So yeah, it’s just great to hear that we must be teaching something right Jen. If you know, Josh is, has learned this from his experiences.

Jen (00:28:44)
Well, I was thinking it just meant that we could retire, Michael. Just ask Josh to come and do the job for us. Would that be okay, Josh?

Josh (00:28:50)
Oh, yeah, I have no doubt you guys are killing it over there though.
Michael’s talk was also great. I remember it very clearly.
So you know, people that are learning from you Michael, and you Jen, I’m sure they have incredible knowledge coming out of it for their science communication journey as well.

Michael (00:29:07)
I remember having a very wobbly knee for that talk, Josh.
So I don’t know if you saw that. But umm yeah.

Josh (00:29:15)
Hey, join the club, join the club Michael.
It seems to be a thing.

Michael (00:29:17)
Yeah, yeah maybe, maybe it is.
But look, thank you so much Josh.

Jen (00:29:21)
Yeah, thanks so much for coming and sharing your story with us, Josh.
It’s a huge pleasure to hear about what you’ve done and what you’re working on now.
And yeah, I’m very excited to have such an ally in someone like you doing the work you’re doing.
So thank you.

Josh (00:29:35)
No, thank you very much for having me again.
It was a real pleasure.
Thank you.

Michael (00:30:00)
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