KIPAC meets twice a week, Tuesdays at 11am on campus and Fridays at 10:30am at SLAC. At these "KIPAC Teas" we share news and announcements, meet new people and visitors, point out interesting new papers to each other, and hear a 15 minute tea talk. The menu for the next KIPAC Tea can be found here.
Tea talks should be short (15 minutes or less speaking time), and need not present completed projects. In fact, works in progress and half-baked ideas are encouraged: the hope is that giving the talk will useful to the speaker, by generating useful feedback from the group. You can either volunteer yourself, or suggest someone else to give a talk, by emailing the tea organizers attealeaks (at) kipac.stanford.edu. Otherwise you'll be scheduled at some point!
Whatever your topic, please make your talk accessible for a wide audience (ie, pitch it at a first year grad student), as engaging as possible, and stay on target with the timing (there's a lot to get through at tea time!). If you'd like feedback on scientific communication after your talk, please just let the organizers know when you send them your title. More detailed guidelines for giving tea talks can be found here.
We use the vox charta system for collectively identifying interesting papers for discussion. Please make yourself an account, log in and click "promote" on papers that you think will be interesting to the group. Promoting a paper just means you'd like to hear that paper discussed -the tea organisers will find someone else to comment on it! For this system to work as an effective social filter, we need many people quickly scanning the arxiv postings and promoting papers - the benefit of being in the group is that it minimises the time you have to spend reading astro-ph listings. Just look for the things you are interested in, and learn about everything else at tea. For help getting started check out the vox charta FAQ. All KIPAC members are strongly encouraged to post and then comment on their own papers too: here is a list of recent KIPAC papers.
Guidelines for presenting a paper can be found here! In short: provide context for listening first year grad students, get to the point, and try and focus on just one figure.
We also use the KIPAC facebook page as a forum for discussing articles in the general news about astrophysics and cosmology - post your links to newspapers, TV clips, blogs etc here, or, again, email them to tealeaks (at) kipac.stanford.eduand one of the tea organizers will post them for you.