Friday, June 4, 2010

Geeks who can Speak

It is always a pleasure to find an inspiring Australian female speaker. And it's always a find to come across a scientist who communicates well. Here's two-for-one. A fantastic speaker who is young,female,and a scientist.

I was privileged recently to see award winning researcher Nicole Kuepper receive a grant to continue her inspiring work into photovoltaics. Kuepper's aim is to bring low cost energy to the developing world. She's class act in many ways - and she can really speak well.

Kueppper is a 23 year old PhD student at the University of New South Wales who - as well as having formidable intelligence and an outstanding track record, has great charm, an unassuming manner, the ability to simplify the complex and command an audience's attention. She's a natural presenter.

She's already been acclaimed at the Australian Museum's Eureka awards, featured on UNSW's speed learning channel, spoken at Poptech, and been marked out as a Nobel Laureate of the future. (No pressure Nicole). Her acceptance speech was flawless - simple, arresting, moving. A mix of light hearted ("I'm a nerd"), plus serious messages and simple explanations that made her research make sense to us all. She so impressed me that I asked how she did it (the public speaking, not the research!). She said she's figured out what works, and that when she's finished her PhD she's happy to think about using her speaking skills to inspire other young women on the path of scientific research. She's one to watch.

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