Journal Club

Journal Club is a weekly venue for short, moderately-formal talks presenting an academic paper to a mixed audience of astronomers. Our aim is for talks to be useful for the speaker and interesting to the audience. Journal Club is organized this semester by Adam Miller (amiller@astro) and Peter Williams (pwilliams@astro) under the auspices of Geoff Bower (gbower@astro).

Journal Club meets from noon to 1 PM on Fridays in HFA B-5. The talks start promptly at 12:10.

Journal Club is also known as Astronomy 292 Section 001, CCN 06088. You can skip directly to the speaker instructions. You can also see listings from past journal clubs.

Spring 2012 Schedule

Date Speaker Status Topic
1/20 Signup / organizational meeting
1/27
2/3
2/10
2/17 Linda Strubbe xG Astronomy outreach adventures in Guatemala and South Africa
2/24 Meredith Hughes P A brief and incomplete review of social science literature relevant to the (under)representation of women in science
3/2 Eugene Chiang F Planet Formation by Coagulation: The Kuiper Belt
3/9 Paul Goldsmith visitor (not JC) Herschel measurements of O2 in the ISM and their significance
3/16
3/23
3/30 Spring Break
4/6
4/13 Jacob Lynn G Transition from weak to strong cascade in MHD turbulence
4/20 Matt George G On the Number of Talks in the Berkeley Astronomy Department
4/27

Speaker Instructions

The basic parameters of a JC talk are:

Duration. Plan to talk for about 20 minutes and spend an additional 5 minutes fielding questions.

Topic. Typical journal club talks discuss an academic paper which is not the speaker's own work.

Preparation. If you're a less-experienced presenter, the organizers can help connect you with a subject-area expert who can spend a little time helping you get oriented with your topic.

PowerPoint. Feel free to use it if you want. In the interests of saving preparation time and practicing extemporaneous speaking, you may wish to keep your usage of it to a minimum, only to show key plots or equations.

Feedback. If there's any particular kind of feedback you'd like on your talk, let the organizers know, and they'll try to make sure you get it.

Choosing a Topic

Here are some ways you could choose a topic to present:

  • Present a paper that you needed to read anyway (if it isn't extremely discipline-specific)
  • Present a classic paper
  • Present a paper that generated interesting discussion at the astro-ph coffee
  • Present a paper connecting to the previous day's or next week's colloquium
  • Present a paper in a field that you're unfamiliar with and would like learn a bit more about

It's important that Journal Club appeal to as broad a cross-section of the department as possible, so try to choose topics which will be accessible and interesting to those who are nonexperts in them.