“Xanthones”, head spins and an afternoon with Davao’s ‘scientific’ community

After a harrowing experience with legalese yesterday on the implications and directions of the banana industry’s writ of preliminary injunction, I came face to face with another “-lese’— scientific jargon.

I braved all odds to a Saturday coverage and attended a presentation by Dr. Fe O. Dimayuga of the University of Kentucky on “The benefits of mangosteen’s Xanthones” at the Grand Men Seng Hotel this afternoon.

Dimayuga was brought in by Dr. Alfredo Villarico of Dr. Alfred’s Essences , Inc. which has marketed a line of food supplement and beauty products derived from mangosteen.

It was actually a diverse audience. I saw many members of the academe, government service, businessmen and from civil society.

The scientist, however, spewed ballistic language (at least for me) on the result of her research that focused on Xanthones, an organic compound referred as anti-oxidants with beneficial effects on the body.

My head was spinning and I have exclaimed “My God, where did I come from? Why can’t I make sense of this expert’s presentation?”

My seatmate showed signs he was catching up but before I could manifest some self pity, he explained that he attended a similar presentation a month before. I was then told to try remembering the lessons of my college biology and chemistry, which I didn’t dare.

Dr. Dimayuga was able to communicate her worth, of course, especially at the open forum when one of the participants asked how to explain to a layman what Xanthone is and how it could help curb imflammation of the body’s cells as indicated in some common illnesses.

It was actually an eye-opener for me, again, to go back to an old pasttime — reading. While I was told jargon couldn’t be easily written for the public’s digestion, I was also warned I should try to untie the confusion knot. For the nth time, my editor reminded me it is my job to make gobbledygook simple and understandable to our readers.

At the end of the session, I decided it was just a way of challenging my comfort zone because my sanity proof was stretched to the limit.

I approached some friends from the academic community after the presentation and I felt comforted hearing theirs was also an afternoon of head spins, just like mine.

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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