FoSheng Hsu – How Religion Shaped Me as a Scientist (Ignite Seattle #40)

As a kid, Ignite Seattle speaker Fo recalls that his parents put their savings toward a statue of Buddha covered in gold. It’s probably no surprise that Fo took up monkhood (though short-lived) at the age of 7. 

Monks live by the five precepts, one of which “no killing” is much harder for a biological scientist to follow. Mouse models aside, something as basic as wiping down a surface with ethanol can kill hundreds of millions of organisms. 

How did Fo reconcile the conflict between his religion and scientific work? Join us at Ignite Seattle #40 where he’ll share his experience and unveil an adaptation of the five precepts that can be used by all scientists who share a similar struggle.

Tickets for Ignite Seattle this Thursday are on sale now!

Rebecca A. Demarest – Why We Should Teach Kids to Write Fiction (Ignite Seattle #40)

As kids, many of us were told not to write fiction (whether explicitly or implictly) by our teachers or friends. Ignite speaker Rebecca A. Demarest thinks this is a mistake.

It’s not that Rebecca hates essays, it’s that writing fiction teaches kids important skills they don’t get elsewhere. To write fiction, you need to get inside the heads of your characters, something kids don’t do natively.

On October 3, Rebecca will speak to the Ignite Seattle crowd about her experiences teaching kids to write fiction, and how it helps them learn to relate to people who are different from them.

Tickets for Ignite Seattle #40 are on sale now.

Aeva Black – How To See Your Own Perception Bias (Ignite Seattle #40)

Just a few years ago, Aeva Black was a rising star in the tech industry, with a too many job offers to count, and invitations to speak at leading tech conferences. That changed when they changed their gender expression.

After Aeva transitioned, they experienced bias in a big way. Job offers suddenly turned into job rejections. With this sort of experience, you or I might have a negative reaction to the word “bias.” But not Aeva.

Aeva Black will join us at Ignite Seattle #40 to share a more optimistic message: we’re all biased, it’s the nature of our hormones and our biology, and that’s ok. What matters is whether we identify those biases, and what we do next.

Learn how to see your own perception biases with us on October 3 at Ignite Seattle. Tickets are on sale now.

Josh Jelin – Does This P-value Make my Lies Look Good? (Ignite Seattle #40)

A bad mathematical model can make a big difference to millions of people. To illustrate the point, Ignite speaker Josh Jelin points to “the Reinhart-Rogoff error”, which is when an economic model used by many countries to make major decisions turned out to be based on a minor typo in an Excel sheet.

Excel errors of that magnitude might be rare, but Josh will take the Ignite Seattle stage on October 3 to talk about an error which is more common, easier to make, and harder to spot in review.

If you’re not a statistician or a scientist, you might wonder what the titular “P-Value” means. Josh will answer that question, and tell you why it sometimes leads scientists to exactly the wrong conclusion, in his October 3 talk.

Tickets to Ignite Seattle on October 3 are on sale now!

Melissa Reaves – OCD is a Family Affair (Ignite Seattle #40)

Melissa Reaves knows what it’s like to feel helpless and hopeless from OCD: her OCD went undiagnosed until her early 20s. So when her daughter received a diagnosis, she could relate. Her daughter has access to something Melissa didn’t though: a promising new program to help those who suffer from OCD.

Melissa will be taking the Ignite Seattle stage on October 3rd to talk about taking her daughter to what she calls “OCD Camp,” a 3-hour-a-day, 4-day-a-week intensive program of Seattle Children’s.

Join us on October 3rd to learn more about her experience in this program, from learning to do the opposite of what OCD says, to riding with an “OCD detective.” Tickets are on sale now.

Karlos Dillard – Friend Of A Foster Child (Ignite Seattle #40)

With 24,000 kids aging out of the US foster care system every year, if you don’t already know someone who grew up in foster care, it’s highly likely you will soon.

In fact, if you attend Ignite Seattle #40, it’s practically guaranteed. Karlos Dillard was raised in three-dozen different foster homes, and he’s joining us on October 3rd to share his story.

When he graduated from high school, Karlos’s past as a foster child meant communication problems that made it hard to hold down a job. It’s not until a manager finally asked “why?” that things started to turn around.

Join us at Town Hall on October 3 where Karlos will teach us how to be a Friend of a Foster Child. Tickets are on sale now.

Ashley McGirt – Dying Black (Ignite Seattle #40)

I don’t have to do nothing
but eat, drink, stay black, and die.

Langston Hughes, “Necessity”

Ashley McGirt has heard this sentiment repeated by her family since she was a child. Her grandmother’s take, “All I got to do is stay black and die” is particularly ingrained in her mind.

People of color die younger and at a higher rate, largely due to heart attacks, high blood pressure, and other cardiac problems. As Ashley says, “we are not dying well, and black people especially are not dying well.”

Ashley has a unique view into this problem as a licensed mental health therapist, and on October 3, she’ll share what she’s learned about this inequity in death, and how to die well.

If you haven’t registered for Ignite Seattle #40 yet, get your ticket today.