Research: Stories about becoming a part of the process

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This week we present stories from people who found themselves in sticky situations in the midst of doing research.

Part 1: Erik Vance's first job reporting on scientific research doesn't smell as much like success as it smells like manure.

Part 2: Liz Neeley observes hypnosis from the inside when she becomes the subject of the experiment.

Erik Vance is an award-winning science journalist based in Boulder, CO who works as an editor for the NY Times. Before becoming a writer he was, at turns, a biologist, a rock climbing guide, an environmental consultant, and an environmental educator. He graduated in 2006 from UC Santa Cruz science writing program and became a freelancer as soon as possible. His work focuses on the human element of science — the people who do it, those who benefit from it, and those who do not. He has written for The New York Times, Nature, Scientific American, Harper’s, National Geographic, and a number of other local and national outlets. His first book, Suggestible You, is about how the mind and body continually twist and shape our realities. While researching the book he was poked, prodded, burned, electrocuted, hypnotized and even cursed by a witchdoctor, all in the name of science.

Liz Neeley is the Executive Director of The Story Collider, and the cohost of our weekly podcast. She is not a naturally gifted storyteller, but came into the field the hard way: reading research papers on narrative and science communication. She started her career as a marine biologist, and her first job was to support community-based projects in Fiji and Papua New Guinea. Learning first-hand that science belongs to everyone changed everything. She misses the ocean these days, but loves getting to think about all different kinds of science now. Her biggest challenge is turning down new projects. Find her on twitter at @LizNeeley.

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