Public Engagement & Science Communication
Science does not “belong” to scientists – it belongs to all of us.
The public can play a huge role in both community science (the public collecting data for research projects) and conservation actions (protecting species and habitats), but only if individuals are excited and interested.
I am passionate about finding new ways to communicate science and introducing people to the miniature worlds that surround us, yet so often go unnoticed!
Below is a sampling of my science communication talks, interviews, and writing for various events, competitions, and media. If you are interested in hiring me for an event or commissioning my writing, please contact me here!
In June 2022, I gave a presentation at a PechaKucha Providence event. PechaKucha is a storytelling format in which a presenter shows 20 slides for 20 seconds of commentary each. During my presentation, The Ecological Mirror, I chatted about how evolutionary history is mirrored in the traits of co-evolved critters – particularly insects!
FameLab Ireland 2020
In March 2020, I competed in the science communication competition, FameLab Ireland, semi-finals where I won the Audience Choice Prize. My talk, The Bitter Truth About Honey Bees, was then entered into the video heat, where I was chosen to be a final competitor in the FameLab Ireland Finals.
In April 2020, I competed in the FameLab Ireland finals (virtual) and was awarded Third Place for my talk, Everybody Hates Wasps.
Bright Club – “A variety night for lateral minds”
In November 2019, I performed at a science comedy night, Bright Club, in Whelan’s Pub in Dublin. During my set, I describe what it’s like to be a scientist who studies bees (hint: I might secretly be a fairy princess).
*Explicit Content: Strong Language*
In January 2023, I was interviewed for ecoRI News, a nonprofit online environmental news source. In the article Bumblebee Study Helps Scientists Track Habitats, Species Decline, I discuss my position as the Rhode Island Pollinator Atlas Entomologist and chat about the importance and decline of insect pollinators.
In March 2022, I was interviewed for the RI Department Of Environmental Management podcast “InFAWmation” about my position at RI DEM as the Pollinator Atlas Entomologist.
The Sunday Times (Ireland)
In August 2021, I was interviewed for the Sunday Times about my research for an article entitled, “Time to get the buzz going for pollinators.” I discuss the findings of my recent publication, “Public perceptions of Ireland’s pollinators: A case for more inclusive pollinator conservation initiatives” as well as some of the findings of my work on the importance of insect pollinators for Irish crops.
“The Mindful Narcissist” Podcast
In June 2021, I was interviewed for by artist and curator, Kaitlynn Doubleu, on her podcast, “The Mindful Narcissist”. We chat about getting to know our non-human neighbors, the impact of individual actions, and the general attitudes of scientists around communication in the episode, “Katie Burns – The Joyful Ecologist.”
“Pulsar” Podcast: Museum of Science, Boston
In March 2021, I was interviewed for the Museum of Science, Boston podcast, “Pulsar.” We chat about pollinator conservation, some of the common misconceptions about bees, and about my research in the episode, “What do a honeybee and a chicken have in common?”
“Being Earnest with Hazel Hogan” Podcast
In April 2020, I was featured on Hazel Hogan’s podcast, “Being Earnest with Hazel Hogan.” We chatted about bees and other pollinators and what humans can do to help conserve them.
Eco Eye – RTÉ TV Series
In Spring 2018, I was interviewed for the Irish television series, Eco Eye, to discuss some of my work on pollinators in apple orchards. The episode, Plight of the Bumblebee, also features my supervisor, Dr Dara Stanley.
UCD Earth Institute – “B Is For Bees”
In June 2021, I wrote a science communication piece, “B is for Bees” for the University College Dublin Earth Institute blog. The post introduces the public to solitary bees (the single working mothers of the pollinator world!) and how to conserve them. This blog post was written as part of an Earth Institute series, “The A-Z of Environmental and Sustainability Research”.
RTÉ Brainstorm – “How Ireland Caught the Buzz for Bees”
In May 2021, I published a science communication piece entitled, “How Ireland caught the buzz for bees” in the online publication, RTÉ Brainstorm. The piece summarizes the findings from my research on the public perceptions of pollinators and discusses the importance of pollinators in general.
RTÉ Brainstorm – “Meet the Hard Working Class Insects”
In October 2018, I published a science communication piece entitled, “Meet the hard working class insects” in the online publication, RTÉ Brainstorm. The piece discusses the importance and value of insects and the services they provide.
Soapbox Science 2019
In Summer 2019, I was chosen to be a speaker for the global event, Soapbox Science, which features the research of women in science. I stood on a soapbox in the middle of Dublin and gave 15 minute talks about my research on pollinators and what people can do to conserve pollinators in their every day life.