SBME Interfaces

SBME Interfaces with Gabriel Potvin

April 27, 2022 UBC School of Biomedical Engineering Season 3 Episode 5
SBME Interfaces
SBME Interfaces with Gabriel Potvin
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Communicating with conspiracy theorists.
Teaching students to be advocates for science.
Rebuilding trust in science communications.

Special guest host Dr. Jenna Usprech and I sat down with Dr. Gabriel Potvin to discuss all this and more in our latest episode.

All episodes available on to watch on YouTube

Gabriel Potvin
Associate Professor of Teaching, UBC Chemical and Biological Engineering

Dr. Potvin's current focus is in engineering pedagogy and curriculum development, with a particular interest in problem-based learning, laboratory instruction, sustainability education, and interdisciplinary education.

The challenges we face as a society, and as a species, are complex and multi-faceted. Engineers must be able to tackle them in creative ways, and be comfortable working on collaborative open interdisciplinary projects. The training of engineers must include these skills. To this end, he aims to create developmental opportunities for students, and actively support a number of undergraduate design teams, student projects, student competitions, and special research projects. He is a steadfast advocate of science and engineering literacy, and is also involved in a number of STEM outreach initiatives.

Learn more about Dr. Potvin here

Special Guest Host:
Jenna Usprech
Assistant Professor of Teaching, SBME

Dr. Usprech, PhD, PEng, is an Assistant Professor of Teaching in the School of Biomedical Engineering. She received her PhD from the University of Toronto, her Master’s from Queen’s University (both in different areas of tissue engineering research), and her Bachelor’s degree in Biological Engineering from the University of Guelph. Dr. Usprech joined UBC in 2019 so that she could introduce new areas of the field to undergraduate students and continue to be immersed in biomedical engineering education. She is particularly passionate about student wellness, science communication, and classroom strategies that promote critical thought and retention of material.

Learn more about Jenna here


Communications & Engagement Manager, SBME

Miguel is an unflinching optimist. He is a communicator and writer whose work has appeared in literary magazines and on stages around the world. His most recent publications include Harpur Palate, the Literary Review of Canada, Plainsongs Magazine, and Soliloquies Anthology. He believes in authenticity; in doing and saying what you actually believe, and he is an obsessive student of leadership from the biological and anthropological perspectives. You've likely heard him rant about it, and he's not sorry.

Learn more about Miguel here

SBME Interfaces with Gabriel Potvin
On who is responsible for educating the public
On whether post-secondary institutions are properly preparing young engineers to be advocates for science
On willingness, tools and activities to help engineers educate the public
On SciHub as a platform for open access to science, how it's good, how it's bad
On the language barrier and navigating overly technical vs public language
On the importance of context in science communication
On the good and bad of late night comedy shows in science communications
On empathy and curiosity as the only solution to engaging with anti-science positions
On rebuilding trust toward science
On advice to engineers who want to get into the science communications space
On hoping for more transparency in science communications, and more engagement with the public
On the Let's Talk Science program and more outreach