Outreach

COVID19 Activities

Like many engineering groups, we tried to find ways to help during the pandemic. We undertook two projects that we’re quite proud of, lead heavily by our fantastic graduate students.

  1. Powered-Air-Purifying-Respirator full-face gaskets: We custom-made full-face gaskets to supply the Penn Medicine system and have currently delivered ~4500 units so far. Read more about it here! Project spearheaded by graduate student Matthew Heinrich.
  2. Open source ventilator PVP1: We designed the PVP1 system to act as a low cost, full-featured, Pressure-Controlled-Ventilation system. It is fully open source and designed to pass key FDA EUA guidelines. The system can be seen here.  In a collaboration with Google and the Hazan Laboratory here, the team is exploring the use of machine learning approaches to optimize ventilator fine tuning to reduce manual adjustments. In parallel, PVP1 was just delivered to a pediatric team at the Cleveland Clinic for testing using pediatric simulators to see if it will be suitable for pediatric use–something few ventilators are designed around and a need we are excited to work on. Project spearheaded by graduate student Julienne LaChance.

Outreach philosophy
Scientific outreach is a major part of what we do, and something we consider to be a key part of the social contract between academic researchers and the public. Prof. Cohen conducts a variety of public engagements from lectures on science and science history for the general public, to hands-on demonstrations and laboratory tours for the public and school children. One of our favorite such demonstrations involves introducing students, researchers, and members of the public alike to waterbears! Our laboratory culture promotes public engagement, and we are always interested in new ways to engage–please contact Daniel if you are interested in learning more.

Scientific storytelling
Daniel is a 13-time speaker at, and Fellow of, the Odd Salon. He is also the Co-Producer, along with Greg Taubman and Christian Cagigal, of the new East Coast chapter–Odd Salon: NYC . Odd Salon is an organization dedicated to promoting storytelling of Science, Art, History, and Adventure. Through Odd Salon, we both give lectures and work with the public to teach narrative presentation and build community through shared storytelling and teaching. Come join us once a month at the Kraine Theater in NYC! Contact Daniel if you are interested in speaking at one of our events.

Tower-to-Town: public-facing lectures from university researchers at the Princeton Public Library
We are thrilled to partner with the Princeton Public Library to run a recurring lecture series called Tower-to-Town where three university researchers, from graduate students to faculty members, present narrative-driven stories of their work to the local community. Our first season just concluded and we plan to continue in the fall of 2019.

Public Demonstrations and Workshops
We’re big supporters of either bringing the public into the lab or bringing the lab out to the public. Over the past year, we’ve done numerous outreach events spanning microscopy demonstrations of waterbears and human cells to DIY microfluidics workshops for high school students. Check out the Happenings page for more information.

Recent examples of such activities: 

‘Renaissance Rhinoplasty’: Daniel’s talk on the history of regenerative medicine

‘Equal and Opposite‘: Daniel’s talk on the intense and bizarre rivalry between Isaac Newton and William Chaloner

‘Frankenscience’ (pending): A brief summary of the scientific context of Frankenstein, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the 3rd edition. 

Daniel is also working to encourage graduate students, post-docs, and faculty to present their work to the general public. He is organizing a seminar series on scientific storytelling, and encourages and coaches researchers to present at venues such as Odd Salon, Nerd Nite, Science on Tap, and others.