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Ask HN: Examples of great scientific presentations?
22 points by qznc on June 8, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments
I recently collected some presentation styles [0]. However, I found no example of a great scientific talk, where someone presents a paper or thesis. Maybe the HN hive mind knows?

I'm not looking for tech talks. No Rich Hickey, Bryan Cantrill, etc.

I'm not looking for broad keynotes or superficial TED talks.

I'm looking for great presentation skills. The topic of the talk is not important.

PapersWeLove has many talks, but I only looked through a few. While the content is great, I have yet to find an exceptional presentation.

[0] http://beza1e1.tuxen.de/presentation_style.html

Some of the NIH's Wednesday Afternoon Lectures are really good [0], as well as some of the talks given at HHMI [1].

The quality depends on the speaker though. Some venture into TED Talk territory, while others are more focused on a series of publications.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4KNG7nd938

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoIfNx1EnQQ

You might find work, books and presentations of Edward Tufte helpful. This would be primarily addressing visual aspects of presentations. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Tufte

I have always enjoyed the presentations at the Cornell Physics Department:


I have not found another talk series at Cornell (say Chemistry, Computer Science, or anywhere in the Life Sciences) that is consistently as good or broadly interesting. (ex. all of those talks would make sense to a condensed matter, astro, accelerator, elementary or bio-physicist; note that accelerator is about how do you accelerate the particles, elementary could involve what happens when they collide; Cornell has strong departments in all of the above.)

Now they do not have video and slide links for them, but peop

Does it have to be specifically on an identified paper or thesis? Does it have to be science in the strictest sense? If not, what qualifies? Maths? Physics with a philosophical side to it? Do talks about how to give scientific talks count (if they are good talks in themselves)? TED talks that are not superficial?

Answers to those would help define your conceptual category, but as it happens each of them corresponds to a particular talk I have in mind.

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