Paula Buchanan, writer, researcher, and self-proclaimed data nerd, likes to pose the question “so what?” as she looks at how data should be presented and how tech should not be a gadget in search of a problem. “How can I make it so what I’m researching can help people not just by my taking a more maternalistic view, but how can I empower them to help themselves?” The way she helps people help themselves? Data visualization and research in the realm of public health.
In this episode, Paula tells Melinda about being a woman of color from a middle class upbringing and how her early years and education formed her motto: Never Stop Learning. Paula has combined her education from Tulane University and her experience with the Americorps program to improve the lives of others through data visualization. She has a passion for making data, specifically health information, more easily understood.
A supporter of Girls Who Code and the Southern Data Science Center, Paula believes that combining science and tech allows for a unique opportunity to make complex ideas more accessible. “If you’re in Health services research, you are, to a degree, a public servant...You have to think about, not the technology, but how the technology serves the people.”
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
MUSICAL INSPIRATION FOR THIS EPISODE ON SPOTIFY:
"American Girl" by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
ABOUT THIS PODCAST
Stayin' Alive in Tech is an oral history of Silicon Valley and technology. Melinda Byerley, the host, is a 20-year veteran of Silicon Valley; and the founder of Timeshare CMO, a digital marketing intelligence firm, based in San Francisco
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