A few weeks ago we announced our CIRM Elevator Pitch Challenge. In the video above you can see our own Kevin McCormack explaining the challenge--each scientist has to explain their research in 30 seconds or less in a way that a lay person would understand.
We ended up with 58 pitches, many recorded at our grantee meeting and several sent in from people who weren't going to be attending. You can see all of the videos here.
Entries ranged widely in both length and content. Some managed to be short and to the point, others were longer, or used creative approaches to communicating the science (and here I'm thinking specifically of Asad Presente of UCSD). Several people from University of Southern California pre-recorded their pitches with the help of USC videographer Ryan Ball, who added some clever graphics to a few videos. I admit to a soft spot for an ailing liver in an entry by Toshio Miki.
Our elite panel of judges met at CIRM headquarters yesterday. Erin Allday of the San Francisco Chronicle attended the judging and wrote this story about it.
After this experience, I have more sympathy for Academy Award judges. How do you rank such vastly different entries? Paul Knoepfler of UC Davis wrote about his top picks in a blog entry today. He very politely left out his own rather creative entry in his top picks.
We'll be announcing the winners next week. In the mean time, I'd be interested in hearing other people's top picks. For those on Twitter, you can also follow the conversation about these videos at #sciencepitch.
(3/22/13) After posting this piece yesterday, a story by an ABC reporter who also attended the judging came out. The story gives a nice sense of the mood of the room during the judging. I think we all had fun watching our grantees struggle to condense years of painstaking work into a few simple sentences.