CSO Lauren, Arizona Leadership Council

The Chief Science Officers Zoom in on Science calls enable Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Professionals to explain their work and its contemporary impact upon society. On May 2, 2020, I had the opportunity to host a Zoom in on Science call with Dr.Gregory Dane Clemenson, a neuroscientist. 

Participants of these Zoom in on Science Calls were allowed to ask questions at any time during the presentation by utilizing the Zoom’s chat feature.  I was sure to answer as many as possible with the time remaining after Dr. Clemenson’s presentation. 

Past calls have explored a multitude of subjects in STEM. Dr. Clemenson was the very first guest on a Zoom in on Science call!  The Zoom in on Science Calls facilitate learning during quarantined situations. On the May 2nd call, the CSO program welcomed him back to discuss his research concerning the effects exploration vis a vis videogames has on hippocampal memory.

Dr. Clemenson was a wonderful guest.  He spent the first few slides of his presentation providing his background. Here, he talked about his interests in a personable and relatable way. One interesting fact about Dr.Clemenson is that he had actually been raised in Texas, but had moved to California to pursue an education and his career. Moreover, his slides were vibrant, and covered from beginning to end with fascinating findings. 

It was interesting to learn the ways in which scientists study the brain, such as how Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques can be used to provide pertinent information. The way he elucidated his research aided CSOs in understanding the connection between hippocampal memory and video game usage and allowed CSOs, who may have had little to no prior understanding of this area of expertise, insight that could be applied in their day to day lives. I was surprised to learn that even playing video games with an emphasis on exploration for just thirty minutes a day could help improve hippocampal memory! My favorite part was learning about his interesting and nontraditional study. It was so interesting! I was impressed and intrigued with his findings. CSO Dayna, another attendee, remarked in regards to Dr.Clemenson that her “favorite part was when you showed us a description of yourself! (it was very funny and light-hearted)”.

 This Zoom-in on Science Call gave me insight into the steps necessary in order to obtain a Doctorate in Dr.Clemson’s field of study.  Furthermore, I now have a much more developed understanding of memory in general. I also learned how one’s hippocampus reacts to both real life and video games, and what measures can be taken to improve hippocampal memory. 

Zoom in on Science Calls are ongoing, and arrangements are being made to enable future calls. I highly recommend attending for several reasons. 

These calls allow for CSO to directly interact with a diverse network of STEM leaders. The knowledge gained is interesting, valuable, and applicable. 

As a result of attending Zoom-in on STEM calls, CSOs have an opportunity to engage with STEM in a way that no tid-bit in a textbook could provide. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to host the call, and hope that everyone who can will join the CSO program for upcoming STEM events and calls! 

-CSO Lauren

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