My name is Valerie Bentivegna. That’s an anagram for Inevitable Avenger, so it’s seemed I destined to be a superhero.
If you’d ask me to describe myself in three words (not that you did), I’d say: tall, nerdy, and clumsy (not necessarily in that order.) I translate seemingly complicated science subjects into something interesting and easy to understand. I enjoy developing new, exciting, and creative ways to inform, educate and engage non-scientists, and the sci-curious of any age.
You can find me on the usual social media channels, including Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
In case you didn’t know yet, science is fun(ny)! I write humorous songs about science and academic life and have performed in science communication competitions such as FameLab and Science Slam. I have toured the world (not really) with Bruno, the blue ukulele. Find out more about upcoming open mics and shows by GeekyComedySeattle.
Check out my video page for some examples of my comedy songs.
Science comedy writing:
- Whoops! Recent Graduate Realizes That Having A PhD Does Not Make Someone Employable
- Grad Student Becomes Lab’s Go-To Graphic Designer After Making Half-Decent Image In Powerpoint
- Grad Student Desperate For Feedback Thrilled To Receive “K.” From Supervisor After Just 3 Months
- Whoops! This Research Chemist Forgot To Add “But Not For Drugs” At The End Of Their Google Search And Now They’re On A Watch List
- 10 Hot Tips To Make Your Lab Data Look Spooky For Halloween
Other comedy writing:
- An Immigrant’s Guide to Making Friends in the US
- What People Are Really Asking When They Ask “Where Are You From?” (And How to Answer)
I write about cool science, both in a professional capacity and for my personal blog, and sometimes for other freelance projects.
Writing and copyediting experience
- Science and Medical Writer for Cognition Studio.
- Co-author of Inking Science, an art-meets-science book highlighting the lives of inspirational scientists, engineers, and innovators.
- Various freelance projects, including blog writing for Decafino and script writing for Physics Girl.
With my broad scientific background in bio-engineering, I can gather information from most STEM fields and distill the core message. I aim to be a master-of-all-trades, with an insatiable curiosity to learn more. In the last couple of years, I’ve worked as a research associate at a chemical engineering start-up company, and as a consultant for a biotechnology company in the Seattle area. I currently work as a Research Scientist/Engineer at the University of Washington.
Learn more about my work as a bioengineer in this video (suitable for all ages):
- PhD in Life Sciences at the University of Dundee, looking at the biomechanical properties of cells and tissues, and how these change during cancer.
- MSc in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, with a final project looking at the potential of nanoparticles for the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors.
- BSc in Bioengineering.
Finding new ways to inspire the next generation of scientists, innovators, creators, and engineers is very… inspiring! I’ve worked as an informal educator in different capacities, both as a volunteer during my PhD as on contracted jobs.
Informal Education Experience
- Teaching LEGO Engineering and LEGO Robotics to elementary and middle school students.
- Working at a science summer camp as operations lead: supervising day-to-day activities, supporting teachers, communicating with parents, etc. In 2020, I helped test out virtual camps and write virtual camp curriculum.
- Workshop leader at a CyberSecurity Bootcamp
- Organizing panels at MCAA general assemblies and Conventions
- Organizing public lectures on the Science of SciFi