“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
Hiroshima University (HU) is a vibrant community of international scholars pursuing peace through education and research with unwavering intellectual curiosity. Science Communication activities advance this mission by making our new discoveries more accessible, as well as educating researchers on how to reach international audiences.
In 2014, the Research Planning Office began publishing news updates from HU laboratories. Since 2016, HU has hired professional science writers through the Science Communication Fellowship. Fellows represent the interface between the campus research community and the nonacademic world. They publish science news in English on the Research Updates website and Facebook page. Other works include Q&A interviews with researchers, photo essays, and short videos.
Meet the Fellows!
Margaux Phares (January 2018 - Present)
One flight, one very long car ride, and one rickety boat trip later, Margaux arrived at a tiny research station island in the Atlantic. She was far from the mountains of Colorado, bitter neighbors New York and New Jersey, and innocuous suburbs of northern Illinois that punctuated her somewhat nomadic youth. Here, among the coral, rays (sun and marine life) and mangrove forests, she was immediately drawn to the life sciences. In the great snowy north at the University of Minnesota, she took her B.S. in Biology. After working underground in neuroscience laboratories and above ground in emergency medicine, she took up her Master’s in Science Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Next, she wrote for the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany. In between meeting scientists from all over the world, curating an exhibition combining science and art, and going to science slams, she grew especially interested in one question: How do different corners of the world communicate science? Next thing, she was moving to Japan. She looks forward to eating lots of okonomiyaki, immersing herself in the music and scicom scenes of east Asia, and probing the stories of science within Hiroshima University.
Richard J. O'Connor (January 2017 - December 2017)
Richard hails from the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland. A former architect, he is now pursuing a career in science journalism. He completed a Masters in journalism at Ulster University in 2015 and then spent 1.5 years working at the BBC producing news and current affairs radio shows before arriving in Hiroshima. Having a lifelong interest in science and nature and a love of globetrotting, Richard could not believe his luck when he was chosen as the 2017 Fellow. He hopes to use the opportunity to deepen his understanding of the sciences, develop his writing technique, experiment with video and make connections in the growing field of science communications.
Caitlin E. Devor (February 2016 - November 2016)
Caitlin is a science communicator originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and a former member of Australia’s Science Circus, where she regularly held fire in her hands, safely with science. She studied biology at Allegheny College and earned a M.S. in Science Communication from Australian National University. Caitlin was Hiroshima University’s first science communicator and the first international staff member of the Research Planning Office. While at Hiroshima University, she uncovered science news stories that led to international media coverage in outlets including US News & World Report, Popular Science, The Atlantic, and others. The passion, integrity, and diverse interests of Hiroshima University’s academic community quickly became obvious during her interviews with faculty members and students. A highlight of her time at Hiroshima University was meeting the other members of Japan’s tight-knit science communication community at universities across the country. In March 2018, Caitlin began working as Public Information Officer / Science Communicator at the University of Tokyo. To find more of Caitlin’s professional work, please visit her personal portfolio website: caitlinedevor.strikingly.com