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PLOS SciComm Feature

What Scientists Can Learn from Stand-Up Comedians

Can scientists be trained to do comedy? We really didn’t know if it would work.

In January of 2016, a small group of academics paced anxiously while a Colorado blizzard raged outside our rented community theater. This first cohort consisted of local professors and co-workers who we roped into a science communication workshop that drew mainly from Chapter 3 of a book titled Getting Started in Stand-up Comedy. Now the date for our public showcase had come, with the idea that we would each deliver a talk modeled after stand-up comedy. And hopefully, an audience braved the weather to show up, too…