Presenting Scientific Papers


In Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology 180, students present scientific papers in groups throughout the semester.

At the beginning of the term, the teaching fellows (TFs) provide a handout on good student presentations. See attachment below. Then the TFs give the first presentation as an example. All of the students in the course read a paper from the scientific literature, then groups of three students take turns presenting the papers and leading their peers in a critical discussion. Each group presents a paper once during the semester. The goal is for students to read, discuss, and critique any scientific paper.

It is helpful for the instructor to come up with a list of important points in the paper, and a list of discussion questions, in case the discussion leaders miss the critical points. Be prepared to explain any method in the paper, and why the question was approached as it was, because these are the most frequent weaknesses of student presentations. Encourage the presenters to leave space for discussion, as they may prefer just to lecture to their peers.

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