How well can scientists communicate their ideas to people depending on their level of understanding?
That was the challenge posed to neuroscientist Bobby Kasthuri, who attempted to explain the idea of a “connectome” with a child, a teenager, a college student, a graduate student, and a fellow expert neuroscientist. It’s fascinating to watch him maneuver between them all.
(Update: The original video was taken down, so I replaced it with the mirror above.)
We may not all be scientists, but we often have ideas that we want to get across. How well do we adapt what we say based on the audience? I’ve been to plenty of debates on philosophy — and read several books about the subject — where it felt like everything was way over my head. And there were other books geared to a more knowledgeable audience that never went beyond the 101 level. Why waste my time?
Every communicator should be able to handle this challenge.