Bear Slam 2018

Science. Understandable. Entertaining.

Keegan Houser

“Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.”

_ Albert Einstein Physicist, Nobel Laureate, Revolutionary

It is about time that researchers communicate their findings in an understandable, entertaining and yet scientific way.

The first Bear Slam at UC Berkeley did exactly that: seven researchers from various disciplines presented their findings to a broad audience in an understandable, creative and fun way. Each slammer had the stage for ten minutes, before facing a vote by the audience who selected the Bear Slammer 2018.

The Bear Slam took place Tuesday, September 18th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, in the I-House Chevron Auditorium. The event was free of charge and complimentary drinks were served.

Sounds like fun? Check out all seven performances on YouTube!

Go Bears!

Because you will gain a lot!

  • Visibility on and beyond campus
  • A professional YouTube recording of your performance – a significant differentiator for any CV
  • An interactive workshop on science communication and a two-on-one coaching session with Martin R. Lichtenthaler – scientist, communicator and distinguished slammer – and Elena Lichtenthaler – presentation coach and seasoned improviser
  • Oh, and some money. At least if you are among the top three slammers: $1,000.00 (1st place) | $500.00 (2nd place) | $300.00 (3rd place)

Any postdoc, visiting scholar, student researcher or graduate student currently enrolled at UC Berkeley. Only original research can be presented. The Bear Slam strives to be a highly interdisciplinary, diverse and inclusive event. We therefore call upon individuals from all disciplines to apply!

Fill in the online APPLICATION and submit a one-minute video pitching your slam and telling us a little something about yourself. The deadline is Sunday, August 12th.

A joint BPA/ATIS committee will select seven slammers and five back-up slammers. All twelve selectees will participate in a workshop on science communication featuring the co-creators of the Bear Slam Martin R. Lichtenthaler and Elena Lichtenthaler.

  • Wednesday, August 15th – finalists selected
  • Monday, August 20th – three-hour workshop on how to build a compelling slam
  • Tuesday, September 4th – two-on-one coachings with Martin and Elena to refine each slam
  • Tuesday, September 18th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM – It’s Bear Slam time!

Please submit any questions to

Plenty! You will …

  • … educate yourself in a fun, entertaining and interactive way.
  • … meet great people, great researchers and great communicators.
  • … actively participate, discuss and rate each slam with your fellow audience members.
  • … enjoy free drinks, refreshments and a surprise visit by one of CAL’s most beloved institutions.

We will start at 7:00 PM sharp. We therefore encourage you to arrive by 6:45 PM. Grab a drink, something to eat and mingle with your fellow audience members.

Remember, you will rate each slam. It wouldn’t really be fair, if you leave early. There also is no reason to leave, because the Bear Slam will be mind-blowing in its entirety. We promise.

Each slammer merits your full attention. Switch off your phone. Ignore your email. Clear your calendar.

Interact with your fellow audience members. Discuss and rate each slam. Be kind, just and fair.

The Bear Slam was co-created by Martin R. Lichtenthaler and Elena Lichtenthaler, supported through the Berkeley Postdoctoral Association and Awesome Time in Science, and generously sponsored by the Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs Program.