Melvin's digital garden

Don't be such a scientist

Don't be so Cerebral

Four Organs Theory of Connecting with the Mass Audience

Spontaneity and intuition reside down in those lower organs.


  • Doing (Objective)
  • Communicating (Subjective)
    • Substance (Objective)
    • Style (Subjective)

Improv is based on affirmation and positivity (compared to the usual negating aspects of science)

The basic idea is saying, “Yes and …”, make the interviewer look good.

More from the gut: intuition. Once the idea begin to crystallize, it then must be transported northward to the brain.

Don't be so Literal Minded

"You're dreaming if you think it's this simple." It is not about just presenting the fact and expecting people to "get it".

Elusive enough to sound a little intruiging but familiar enough to roll off the tongue.

Science establishment often think it just needs to “argue louder” (use the same fact-based approach, just more forcefully)

Marketing is essential. Invest in communication of your ideas.

Arouse and Fulfill (Motivate then Educate)

Film is not a very effective educational medium but it is an excellent motivational medium.

Broad audiences prefer style over substance. Show don’t tell.

The magic of juxtaposition - two unrelated images lined up against each other, producing something more powerful than their sum.

Don't be such a Poor Storyteller

With good storytelling you end up both arousing and fulfilling at the same time.

Moving from miniplot/anti-plot to the archplot.

Science writing is typically only cerebral devoid of emotion, hence it is easy to give critical comments.

Accuracy vs Boredom

Story structure: act 1 - inciting incident (tension/conflict), act 2 - exploration of possibilities, act 3 - resolution, wrap things up

Questions are the scientific equivalent of standard narrative conflict or tension.

The power of a good story rests in the details. Give specific examples!

Don't be so Unlikeable

Not rising above. Rising above is a guaranteed path to conflict.

Science is, unfortunately, a negating profession.

Brain storming (positivity), selection (negativity). It works well, provided the two are kept separate.

Today, style is substance.

Likeability is inextricably tied to the elements arising from those lower organs - humor, emotion, passion.

Be the voice of Science

Be bilingual: broad audience vs academic

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