School of Medicine

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  • Abbey Thompson

    Abbey Thompson

    Director of Outreach Activities, Genetics

    Current Role at Stanford As the Director of Outreach Activities for the Department of Genetics, she manages a number of different projects. Her main focus is a program initially developed over 13 years ago called "Stanford at The Tech." This is a program that uses The Tech Museum in San Jose as a backdrop for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to learn how to effectively communicate science to the public. The program has proven to be both successful and popular with these young scientists. Every week for two quarters, participants lead hands-on genetics activities for museum visitors, and receive feedback to improve their communication skills.

    As part of their training, students help to answer questions from the public submitted through our website, "Understanding Genetics." The Understanding Genetics website reaches over 6 million visitors annually. A popular section of the website is our "Ask A Geneticist" section, where the public can submit questions about genetics. 100-300 questions are submitted every month, each of which receives a short answer from Dr. Thompson. Some questions also receive a longer blog-like answer that is posted to the website, written by the graduate student and postdoctoral fellows.