Outreach

Outreach is an indispensable part of doing research. I have quoted Einstein on this in my PhD thesis: "If you cannot explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." Over the years I have given many public talks for a large range of audiences in Netherlands, United States and Canada: from amateur astronomers to fourth grade children, from pub talk to the Royal Dutch Academy, from observatory star party to girl scouts. I love it when I can deliver the message of science, how we understand the Universe, why we are passionate about it, why we work in a specific way. Looking at the faces of an audience and answering their questions is extremely rewarding, and I hope to continue contributing to outreach activities throughout my career. If you are interested in me giving a talk, please contact me directly. I have talks ready for any level and any length of time, on a range of topics: planet formation, the ALMA telescope, astrochemistry, exoplanets and aliens, connections between faith and astronomy, etc.

Nerd Nite Victoria

One of my outreach efforts has been the founding and organization of Nerd Nite Victoria, a monthly science talk event in the Victoria Event Centre. Nerd Nite is a globally coordinated event that is organized in more than 100 cities over the world, where enthusiasts talk about their (nerdy) passions in an informal setting in pub or bar. The best way to describe the event is a mix between a TedX talk and stand-up comedy. I used to attend events in Amsterdam and Honolulu and when I realized Victoria did not have a Nerd Nite host, I decided to get it started. The first Nerd Nite Victoria happened in August 2018, and has continued monthly ever since, with a large range of topics from astronomy to poetry, from rock fish to neuroscience and from linguistics to computer game development. Together with 3 other organizers we have created a community of nerd enthusiasts in Victoria that attend every third Wednesday of the month under our motto "Where beer and brains blend". Nerd Nite Victoria is coordinated through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as #nerdniteyyj, through web and through a mailinglist.