Pecha Kucha Night was invented four years ago by 2 architects, Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein, in Tokyo. During the event each presenter is allowed 20 slides each shown for 20 seconds each giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. According to Wired journalist Daniel H. Pink: The result, in the hands of masters of the form, combines business meeting and poetry slam to transform corporate clich into surprisingly compelling beat-the-clock performance art.
Pecha Kucha (Japanese for “chatter”) is practiced by architects and designers but it is easily and naturally transferable to science. It is a usual homework for scientists to make presentations for conferences, Journal Clubs, angel investors or for the public. But the design element is usually not well developed, the information component is overwhelming and scientists have poorly or never been trained in the art of public speaking. Just like laboratory websites, science slideshows are good targets of further education.
Imagine an online Pecha Kucha event/competition for scientists where participants can clap their hands by voting for the performance, information, design, entertainment, humor factor of each presenter/slideshow. Fortunately we already have the services who are able to host these Pecha Kucha events: Bioscreencast, JoVE or SciVee just to mention the ones that first came into my mind.
Of course the real Pecha Kucha event is originally offline, and eventually scientists should prove themselves in front of a flesh and blood audience.