Jessie Yaros


PhD, Neurobiology and Behavior, UCI, expected 2020
BS, cognitive science, UCSD, 2012


“They all look the same to me.”

The Other-Race Effect (ORE) is the tendency to remember the faces of people in our own race better than those in other races.

Ever struggle with this? Jessie Yaros has, and as a doctoral candidate in Neurobiology and Behavior, she researches the brain basis for the phenomenon. Because the ORE is caused by a person’s level of interaction with members of other races, Jessie uses it to research how a lifetime of experience can shape what we can –and cannot remember.

In the meantime, Jessie employs a constant rotation of hair colors, in order to personally remain memorable.

When not handling dye, Jessie juggles her cats and guest hosts the podcast ‘Science for the People’.

Why is science communication important to you?

What is the point of science if it stays locked within academia? The quest for knowledge is a noble goal, but it has relatively little impact unless information is put to use. Science communication is necessary to transform science into practical applications. Whether it be through communication to private industries, governmental institutions, or NGOs – science needs to be translated so that it can be applied.

Even beyond practical applications, it is vital to make science accessible to the public. Due to current policy, many people cannot access primary scientific sources without paying up-- even though their tax dollars fund many scientists’ research.  I hope that science will become more open-access in the future, but in the meantime, we have a duty to make our work accessible. This means, explaining science without the jargon, and publishing in media sources, like NPR, that are free and available to everyone.