Bringing science to San Diego

Public outreach events at Experimental Biology 2014

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting once again will feature a full slate of programming from the Public Outreach Committee. If you are interested in getting involved with outreach or just curious about what outreach is, come check out one of our events.

Outreach poster session

When: after the opening lecture Saturday, April 26
Where: San Diego Marriott Marquis, Marriott Hall 3, North Tower
To get things rolling, we will host a special outreach-themed poster session after the opening lecture on the night of Saturday, April 26. Posters will showcase various outreach and informal science-education programs from around the country.
T-MOB iconExamples include Trainee Meetings Outside the Box, a graduate-student-run mentorship and science-communication program at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, as well as the ASBMB Undergraduate Affiliate Network chapter at San Francisco State University, who will highlight their collaborations with Bay Area Science Festival and Guerilla Science, a collective that combines science with cultural activities. Take this opportunity to chat with your fellow scientists about their experiences and see for yourself how outreach is getting done at the ground level.

Communication workshop

“You Can’t Say That on Television (or to Congress, or to Students)”
When: 12:30 p.m. Monday, April 28
Where: San Diego Convention Center, Room 14A, Mezzanine Level
Effective public outreach relies on your ability to communicate about science with a wide variety of audiences in a plethora of different formats and venues. With that in mind, we’ve put together a workshop that will train you on how to do just that.
A roomful of communication experts will help you tailor your research description for different stakeholders, including the media, K – 12 students and policymakers. Bring your poster or talk abstract and get expert feedback and advice on how to ensure that your message resonates with your audience.
The workshop will serve as an introduction to several science-communication programs that we are developing. You can register at

Science café

“Game Changer — How a Computer Game Can Turn You into a Real-Life Hero”
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 28
Where: Southpaw Social Club, 815 J St., San Diego, Calif. 92101
Are you a protein biochemist? Do you like communicating with people about the joys and wonders of science? Do you just want a break from posters and lectures? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then join us for our annual EB science café, which will take place in the heart of the San Diego Gaslamp District.
UNESCO has designated 2014 as the Year of Crystallography to celebrate 100 years of X-ray diffraction with the goal to “increase public awareness of the science of crystallography.” The ASBMB is getting in the spirit by hosting a public science café on protein structure.

David Baker

The café will focus on FoldIt, an interactive game developed by David Baker and his lab at the University of Washington. Users play the game by using amino-acid sequences and general rules of protein folding to solve complex protein structures. Lab member Brian Koepnick will lead a hands-on demonstration of the game at this event, showing how players from any background can participate, potentially even ending up as co-authors on scientific publications (as happened in 2011 for a group working on folding algorithms).


Opportunities for outreach 

We hope that those of you attending the annual meeting will interact with the nonscientist attendees, because in our opinion, the best way to get involved with outreach is to get involved with outreach.
So once you get your fill of science at the meeting, come to our sessions to see how you can do a little bit more. We’ll see you out in San Diego.
Geoff HuntGeoff Hunt ( is ASBMB’s outreach coordinator. Follow him on Twitter at