New TikTok channel launched to share the science of botanicals with a younger audience

Science outreach and education is a core aspect of our research mission. Each year, the Quave Research Group participates in science education events such as leading workshops for students and teachers in local schools and participating in the annual Atlanta Science Festival. We also share educational video content through the Teach Ethnobotany channel on YouTube. Yet, each outreach platform has its strengths and weaknesses in terms of the number of people we can reach, and in what preferred content formats. Over the past few years, teens have shown a surging interest in short 30-60 second video content, representing a major departure from classic forms of educational content delivery, even through mini-lectures of 15 minutes or less.
How to reach teens today to encourage an interest in science and discourage the spread of science misinformation?
One of the best things about my role as a professor and lab group leader is that I get to learn from the fresh ideas that new classes of students bring to the group. In this case, our discussion of various social media platforms during lab meeting led to creation of a TikTok account for the lab: @Quave_Lab. This initiative will be a joint effort shared across the research group, with students creating short educational videos to highlight cool science facts about plants and to share a behind-the-scenes look at different research methodologies. Our hope is that this content will encourage curious teens to pursue science and also increase public knowledge of the real science behind how medicinal plants work.
Pick up your copy of the March/April issue of Spirituality and Health magazine to read a special feature article I wrote on searching for healing herbs in Albania.
Thanks to The Story Collider for including my story in this week's episode!
A neurological condition makes Adam Selbst a prime target for muggers but things get weird when he tries to stop one and Cassandra Quave learns there’s more than one way into medicine.


New on Foodie Pharmacology:

Pink Peppercorn Beer with a Hallucinogenic Twist with Dr. Matthew Biwer

FP 407 Matt Biwer Still
I speak with archeologist and paleobotanist, Dr. Matthew Biwer, about some exciting new research on ancient beer brewing practices in the pre-Columbian Andes. We discuss evidence that Peruvian peppertree (molle, the source of pink peppercorns) was used as a beer ingredient along with a DMT-containing plant (a bean tree locally known as vilca). While vilca was used as a hallucinogenic snuff by other groups, archeological evidence at Quilcapampa indicates that it may have also been used in molle brews. From entheogens to beer and ancient feasting practices, there are a lot of fun concepts to unpack in this episode.

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