Yesterday, thanks to the good offices of Waterloo Production and Gaslight Gathering, I visited Illumina to give my talk about the patient-oriented view of cancer and genomics. I was accompanied by the_child, Lisa Costello and K— from Gaslight Gathering. Waterloo Productions filmed the event.
The lobby of Illumina
This was an intimidating audience for me. I’m a pretty well-informed layman, but I am definitely a layman. I have a B.A. Plan II from the University of Texas at Austin, which is loosely speaking a humanities degree. I have no graduate education. I haven’t darkened the door of science classroom since about 1984. With these credentials, I was talking to an audience of people who work every day on genomics, on whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics. Doctors, scientists, lab techs, marketers, administrators: a whole gamut of people from the world’s leading provider of gene sequencing equipment and services. I knew going in I had to be on my toes to maintain credibility and give them useful value for the hour of time each busy member of my audience was going to invest in me.
Jay talking at Illumina © 2013 Waterloo Productions
About 60-80 people attended the talk, by my rough guess. No one walked out in the middle, which to my long experience in public speaking and business presentations definitely represents a win. They were a tough but receptive house with some good questions. (My favorite was one about whether Illumina should be engaged in patient education or provider education, along with a related question about how to go about those efforts.) I learned some interesting thing from the questions and comments, and I think I reached a number of people with the patient perspective on the work they do.
I call it an afternoon well-spent. I daresay the Illumina folks do as well. When Waterloo Productions has the video of the talk edited, I think we’ll publish and promote it. At some point in the near future, I’ll also find a way to publish the slideware.
In addition, I’m trying to line up to do this talk to other audiences, both biomedical and general interest. If you know of any group who would like to hear more, please put me in touch.
Photos © 2013 Waterloo Productions and Joseph E. Lake, Jr.
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This work by Joseph E. Lake, Jr. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.