Episode 0Welcome to Metaphorigins
00:00 / 05:15

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Transcript

To my amazing family and friends. Near and far. Old and new. This is Kevin Mercurio on the mic. And welcome to this… this… thing.

 

What is this thing, exactly? You all know me as this biochemist, “science boy” I’ve been nicknamed, a student doing some experiments where I take the contents in flasks and mix them with contents of other flasks. You know, cue the typical chemistry lab visual.

 

And there is some truth in that. Yes, I am currently finishing my Masters in Biochemistry at the University of Ottawa. I do identify as a “boy”. I do mix contents of flasks in other flasks for growing cells in different conditions. It is exactly as simple as it sounds.

 

But those labels are so incredibly… off. I’ve been registered in biochemistry programs since I left high school, but study the chemical and physiochemical processes of microorganisms. These are organisms that are so small, you can’t even see them by the naked eye. Unicellular budding yeast, the stuff you probably have in your kitchen to make bread rise, bacteria (through common contamination of my media), this is what I work with. That would make me a biochemist and microbiologist I guess. Can you be a biochemist without being a microbiologist? I guess you could work on just proteins, like structural biology or proteomics.

 

But I digress. I do love science, but I’m not some science superhero by any means. My smartness, no, my intellect is no where near that of my peers, professors and other science enthusiasts. Anyone who keeps up to date on scientific news is likely just as knowledgable as I am. Hell, I’d even go so far as to say that graduate students are being paid to pursue their ideal hobby of science, just like writers get paid to pursue their ideal hobby of writing. Both don’t get paid nearly as much as they should.

 

My hobby, I’ve come to realize, is understanding. Understanding whatever it is I don’t understand. That’s why I pursued science, to develop the skills required to fully grasp something, an idea, a process, an effect after a cause. Extremely simple or vastly complex.

 

I love that feeling you get when something that didn’t make any sense at first, suddenly does, through obtaining new information, and working through that information in that big ol’ head of yours. Your brain literally puts together an abstract puzzle by firing signals across neurons to communicate information to various regions of the brain.

 

Communication. That’s when it hit me. Communication is the most fascinating topic, expanding over every interesting topic there is. You communicate through writing, through speaking, through body movements, through social media. And you can be clear, direct, ambiguous, foreshadowing, metaphorical, expressive, anecdotal… Even saying or doing nothing is communicating something in a particular situation. There are so many varieties of how you can choose to communicate information.

 

Through my creative writing project… by the way check it out on my website or follow @scalenewriting on instagram, a little promo plug for myself. Through my creative writing project, I often use idioms, metaphors or smiles to communicate some idea in a unique way.  But expressions are my favourite way of communicating information. They’re usually innovative and mentally work you at a subconscious level.

 

That’s where this podcast comes in. I want to share my love of communication with you all and expand how we can share information. How we can discuss complex topics in a way that’s interesting and informative, just like science should be. And perhaps if it were more interesting and informative, everyone would love science as much as I do.

 

This podcast will delve into the origins of expressions. Drinking the Kool-Aid. A piece of cake. You can’t judge a book by its cover. All these expressions have interesting origin stories and have become creative ways of communicating information, and have interweaved themselves into everyday speech. I will also dive into communication in science (hashtag scicomm), from my training as a scientific researcher, and why that is so important for modern day. This will include interpreting newly published scientific papers, how to read and write scientific literature, how to give a presentation that people pay attention to, and more.

 

Based on its success, I will further branch out into communication as a whole, and how different types of people, careers, situations… change the way we communicate information.

 

I hope you join me in this next ambitious project. Welcome, to Metaphorigins.

 

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