Sci-Tea Gets Curious: Staying excited about behavioral science through conversation!

September 13, 2021 Ryan Linn Brown & Dr. Nanci Weinberger Season 1 Episode 0
Sci-Tea Gets Curious: Staying excited about behavioral science through conversation!
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to the first-ever episode of Sci-Tea!

Join us (Nanci and Ryan) in a conversation about what prompted Sci-Tea. You'll hear a preview of future guests and topics and find out what keeps us curious. 

Let us know you're excited about the series by leaving a review wherever you listen to podcasts!

Connect with me (Ryan) on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok for more content like this:

✨ Credits ✨

🔹 Sci-Tea was created by Dr. Nanci Weinberger and Ryan Linn Brown

🔹 Music was generously made by Kyle Evans. Hear more:

🔹 Animated graphics were kindly made by Yoully Kang. Follow her on Instagram @dearyouily for more!

🔹 Edited by Ryan Linn Brown

🔹 Captions by Mia Skowron

🔹 Sci-Tea is supported by Bryant University's Center for Health and Behavioral Sciences

[Ryan] hey y'all I’m Ryan 
[Nanci] and I’m Nanci and this is Sci-Tea where we bring you engaging conversations between researchers and practitioners 
[Ryan] we feature leading experts as well as early career researchers in psychology and beyond who will be speaking with other professionals working in settings such as hospitals schools and governmental agencies 
[Nanci] so grab your tea 
[Ryan] or drink of choice 
[Nanci] and enjoy the conversation 
[Nanci] welcome to Sci-Tea this is our first ever get to know us episode which will be a preview of the series and of us 
[Ryan] hey there I’m Ryan and I am a fifth year PhD student at Rice University studying health psychology and specifically how stress affects our health and I am really excited about this project because I’m excited just to share more research and stay sort of engaged with these favorite topics and parts of the job which definitely include just like nerding out with Nanci overall and then just to bring it back to sort of why I first got interested in health psychology and psychology and just the idea of studying for the rest of your life 
[Nanci] yay 
[Ryan] yeah what about you Nanci do you want to introduce yourself 
[Nanci] well I’m a developmental psychologist and much of my research has focused on children's environments it's gone to some other places as well and I’ve really enjoyed teaching research focused undergrad classes I’ve also had an opportunity to teach our senior internship seminar so I get to know students in some different contexts and one and I’m really with you Ryan when it comes to nerding out on research I’m in 100 and I’m wondering if we want to talk a little bit more about how we know each other and our connections 
[Ryan] absolutely I was lucky enough to meet you my freshman year of college I guess that first class was adult development and aging which obviously had made a big impact on me with what I’m studying now and I definitely just remember that class being so unique because of how you presented both research and music and arts and this combination of like the ways that we can learn what's going on in the world and with people's experiences and things like that like it was never just research focused so even though it was a very research heavy class there was always like an arts element to it and I think that that sort of underpins a lot of why we connected after that class and throughout just the different ways that we can experience people's lives and people's experiences and understand them and I definitely remember that once we I ended up getting to work with you right in undergrad on a paper and that was such an awesome experience and in that time I just over I ended up I was playing tennis and doing all these things but it really was like how can I reschedule my whole life around the idea of like getting to be able to be in this room with this group of people and with you especially because it was such a fun environment fun collaborative environment where it was like safe to find my voice in research it took me a while to feel confident enough to speak up and feel like things that I was saying would be like contributing something that someone else at the table wasn't saying and so I’m really grateful for that early time with you because I think that it in in a similar way to how I hope this sort of helps right it's just finding your voice in this space and in these spaces that are not super designed for like 20 something women as well so I think just being able to see you as a role model in in this world was huge for me and then being able to really just stay excited and curious about all of this was a huge part of why I think our connection is so strong and then lastly I’ll just say like two last things which are that you got to you were my like surrogate parent even on my senior day like you brought me flowers when my parents couldn't be there and that was such a special experience as well and I just remember that sort of senior year being like the best of my times were definitely when we were doing research that we'll get to talk about in these conversations as well right but we were able to kind of create this whole project around our interest specifically so I’ll turn it over to you for things that you experienced as we were sort of getting closer and getting to be friends but I just I can't understate or I can't I can't overstate the impact that you've had on me and still have on me just being like wanting to stay in this field 
[Nanci] Ryan thank you so much for that it just it makes me feel just amazing and it's such a mutual respect that we have for each other and not only have you grown and I’ve seen that over the years but you have helped me really truly and I’ve stretched myself I would never have done this project Sci-Tea I’m so excited but to be able to do it with you and just to be able to do it with you I think we complement each other really well and you know you had mentioned that early getting involved in doing that research with my with myself and some other colleagues you know you came to the meetings and that was fantastic and then just you would say something and comment and it's like after a while we realized we needed to ask you more what's your take on this and then would you do you want to write this up do you what do you think about 
[Ryan] the coolest experience
[Nanci] presenting at a conference and I have to you know thank you for the heavy lifting on some conference presentations I remember one of the conferences being with you and it's like you know you were just on a roll and I was like oh this is awesome I like this because for teaching primarily undergrad you know only undergraduates I didn't really get to have that much of that experience of having you as so much of a peer while you were still a student so that was just fabulous and then the project later on that was your project that I advised we worked on together in collecting data with you and another student psychology major was so much fun with our big boxes going out to after-school programs and of course it seemed to rain every time we collected data and no matter what the challenges were whether they were big or small we had a mantra and that was science and that just helped us kind of push through and do what we needed to do and it was so good that we were on that same wavelength and I appreciate that back to what we're doing here I’m really excited about what we're doing and that we're doing this together and maybe we want to talk a little bit more about like how did we come up with this idea and what sort of with our driving force is to get us to this place 
[Ryan] yeah I think our main driving force is that we're friends who love science and like wanted to stay in touch and have an excuse to nerd out about these things I think that this has been a very convenient excuse for us to be able to get together and have an excuse to bring other people into those conversations too right to actually be like these are the things that we want to talk about and understand and how can we talk to researchers but also people who are applying this kind of research in their in their professional settings so for me I know that a lot a large part of my interest in all of this is just the getting to being to rekindle kind of that experience of undergrad and carry it through now I’m in grad school and that experience is good too but it's all it's a very different experience and I love coming back to just the sheer excitement about learning new things that I think we both really have 
[Nanci] yes we absolutely do and I also love the excitement now that we have we're ready to launch 
[Ryan] yeah 
[Nanci] and just having the I know having those experiences every time we've reached out and people are like I’m excited yeah I want to participate and heart flutters it's like yes and then finding out more even more about what people are doing and having these deep conversations has been really compelling I mean this is something that I’ve always wanted to do and I’m so glad you have too just kind of making this connection and having discussions about research but then also seeing how the lessons from those research researched projects can be implemented in an array of settings whether it's educational health public health community settings so many different settings so I know that that's always been really important to me my favorite publications that I’ve written have actually been more about articles that are geared towards practitioners directly whether it's teachers or child health child life professionals that's been the most meaningful to me to be able to say this is what the research says these are some lessons and this is maybe how you can apply it in your work setting and now it's not just me and you communicating to practitioners or professionals that are in these applied settings but hearing what they say and hearing what they think should be studied it's really just what I’ve always wanted to do 
[Ryan] absolutely and I remember as an undergrad loving that you were doing like proactively seeking out ways to sort of do that level of communication and I think that that's a large part of why I like that that visibility of your interest definitely helped me kind of understand the different ways that you can move through academia and also be like trying to impact outside of academia which is I think what both of our goals are here is really to move beyond just journal publications and trying to get more back and forth bi-directional communication between the people who are actually involved in in this kind of work on the on the like front lines 
[Nanci] absolutely I mean we value the uh publications not only in being part of them and participating but reading them but we really want to share science and go beyond the lab and go beyond the classroom and I think that's what we're doing here so maybe you can tell folks a little bit more about you know how with how the episodes are going to go what some of the topics are and so forth 
[Ryan] yeah I’m super excited uh so a few of the topics that we have coming up early on will be focused on things like individual differences in risk assessment which is very relevant around the pandemic and just how we conceptualize like our place in the world and how dangerous things are and how sort of we all have a different level of sensitivity to different levels or different types of risks we're also going to be talking about how childhood exposure to violence relates to psychopathology which is of course a very important topic and then again back to things that we talked about a little bit when I was an undergrad with you was sort of how we can build nature into interior design in a way that it helps to facilitate either healing or sort of whatever the goal is of a space the idea of sort of building nature and specific elements into that space so those are some of the topics that we're specifically interested in but we also have really awesome guests coming up for these topics so Nanci do you want to tell us a little bit about maybe our first episode 
[Nanci] oh absolutely so our first episode is going to be we have a couple of guests but they are Leah Defenbaugh Leah is the stem outreach manager at SciGirls for SciGirls a PBS tv series that gets kids really excited about science and technology and her colleague Dr. Barbara Billington she's an instructor researcher and she also writes for SciGirls and she does training for science teachers in k-12 to help them see how to sort of engage kids be excited about science have the teachers feel empowered to engage them and the conversation with them is fabulous and so much fun and we're really excited about that first episode starting off with this particular combo this particular dynamic duo 
[Ryan] yeah what a combination of people I mean and the work they do is just is just incredible and I feel that way about all of our people we in future episodes we'll have guests who again are from a lot of different set or who are professionals in a lot of different settings where you're applying the different like psychological concepts that we're talking about and maybe we'll even move beyond that right so the idea of just being open and curious is very much underpinning society but we have again more people like Nirva LaFortune who is a Providence City council woman who will be talking with again this is really exciting for us just to talk to people from different domains where this kind of work is applied and so the political side and the community side is something that we're really excited to get into and that episode is awesome and then we'll also talk with Dr. Heather Lacey who's a cognitive psychologist and whose work is very impactful again especially in these pandemic times and I I’m just a big fan of hers as we know so that'll be that'll I just can't wait for all of these episodes to be released and to talk with people about them so coming back to what really gets us with Sci-Tea is our curiosity and so I wanted to ask you Nanci just sort of what keeps you curious these days and what what's your source for curiosity is there anything that like sparks it for you in particular
[Nanci] well certainly individual people do but sometimes when I don't have a chance to be with people I certainly turn to a couple of things one is just traditional media and keeping up with the news there's so much to pay attention to and so I don't pay attention to everything but I paid attention to things and one following one news story leads to something else and keeps me really interested and engaged and it doesn't have to be with psychology it doesn't have to be with behavioral science it could be about any number of things I’m just I just it's just a natural starting place for me and then over the last year I have to I have to admit that I have found academic twitter and it yes I was nervous about it at first how do I do this but I can follow people that they could be in my discipline my little narrow niche but then they can be studying and talking about other things whether it's political or about public health which is so important and it shifts and it's so inspiring and I will look up people and find out what are they doing what where and then whoever they are then that leads me to other people and so I’m finding that paying attention to what people are saying and how why are they saying these things it's endless and it's an endless you know fond of curiosity for me so that that's what's happening for me what about you Ryan what's what helps keep you curious 
[Ryan] well I’ll pick you back off of that and agree with you about twitter I think twitter's such an awesome resource for that and I found out about the podcast ologies because of twitter which if anyone hasn't listened to all of these it's just incredible in terms of science and science communication and just sparking curiosity for all of these different subjects that I really haven't thought about so I would definitely say things like academic twitter and ologies but also in the last year and pandemic time as well I’ve been reading a lot of fiction and also young adult fiction and just joined enjoying the book club and I think that just reading fiction and or just other people other people's perspectives or experiences it's such a like lovely window into people's lives and especially interest in psychology or like early life experiences a lot of these like coming of age young adult books are so interesting just to think about how what you're reading is kind of reflecting a lot of the things that we're kind of learning about well how are you are you might be in this environment and responding to the stressor so how then is that going to be affecting you for the rest of your life or like how are these responses you know just again just seeing different people in different contexts and just getting that spark of like amazing writing but also this like fantasy world sometimes so I just I love reading things that aren't just straight academic papers or non-fiction I think just for that spark like you're saying 
[Nanci] I’ve gotta jump in here that's giving me ideas for a guest 
[Ryan] oh yeah 
[Nanci] or some guests
[Ryan] awesome
[Nanci] I think it would be really exciting to pull in a fiction author 
[Ryan] I love that I love that and I love that too because I get back to your back to your class that that was my favorite part of that adult development and aging class was like you have the research but you also have all of these different ways of experiencing something that we're talking about in the research that can is right like storytelling is so much more captivating people than looking at any like numbers so that us included so that that makes a lot of sense 
[Nanci] we'll make that happen I think 
[Ryan] yeah and we also really want to know what kinds of discussions y'all are interested in so please let us know what you're most excited about leave comments on videos go ahead and follow us on social media on twitter and Instagram we'll be posting through @ryanscience on social media and I’ll just make sure that's up on the video here so y'all can see it and please just let us know what things you're most interested in and any questions you have about any topics that are coming up as we promote them or that might have already passed because we'll be happy to address them we also have lots of questions and are super excited to discuss with y'all 
[Nanci] absolutely clearly we're having a lot of fun doing this and we hope you'll join us for our conversations
[Ryan] yeah!