Professor Matt Carlson
This newsletter’s featured member is Dr. Matt Carlson, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Linguistics and faculty member of the Center for Language Science at Penn State. This year Matt undertook the major project of coordinating our participation in three Exploration U: Community Science Night events, which were a wonderful opportunity for us to connect with the public and have great conversations about language science and bilingualism. Here’s what Matt had to say about his outreach work:
I do outreach work to encourage people to stop and think about the wonder of the world, which so often goes unnoticed right under our noses. I love watching people’s curiosity awaken when they see something they never thought about before. At the Exploration-U events we’ve participated in recently, this goes for the parents as well as the children, and for young and old anywhere! But it’s about more than just the enjoyment of curiosity and discovery. When we open our eyes and ears to learning things we didn’t know before, it changes how we think about the world and how we act in it by reminding us how wonderful and valuable the world, and the others we meet in it, are. In my own research and teaching, outreach keeps me from getting too set on my own point of view, and it reminds me to keep waking up that sense of curiosity and wonder every day, in myself and in my students, so that every day we can look back at having learned something we didn’t know before.
Look for us at Exploration U again next year!