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Posts Tagged ‘science communication’

Climate Change Is Boring

Guest Bogger

Dr. Rod Lamberts, Deputy Director
Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science

Canberra, Australia

When it comes to climate change, I’m pretty sure there are really only three types of people. Those who believe we’re buggering things up, those who don’t believe we’re buggering things up, and those who don’t know (and maybe don’t give a toss) either way.

Sure there are sub-groups, cliques and factions, but these are the big three. And nowadays it’s clear to me they all have one fundamental thing in common. For all these groups, hearing more science information about climate change makes no practical difference. The acceptors keep accepting, the deniers keep denying, and the ‘meh’ crowd keep on meh-ing.

So why are we still spraying the media waves with public communications full of climate science? Read More

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Not Just Another Powerpoint: More Tips to Bring Presentations to Life

Guest Bogger

Andrew Gunther, Executive Director, Center for Ecosystem Management & Restoration
Marcia DeLonge, Agroecologist, Union of Concerned Scientists

Scientists are trained to leave ourselves out of our work—to leave passion at the door, and let objectivity guide us. This makes for great science, but can make for boring presentations. On a recent Science Network webinar, we shared guidelines and examples of how to give engaging, compelling, yet scientifically accurate presentations. Read More

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Building Community Power: Science and Storytelling

Guest Bogger

Miranda Chien-Hale
Master of Environmental Management Candidate, Duke University

Durham, North Carolina

My class on California’s water crisis finished a few minutes early last week. I immediately rushed over to Duke University’s Bryan Center, hoping to still grab a bit of food before Paul Greenberg, author of Four Fish, began his talk. I managed to scoop up two appetizers before I headed into the theatre. Read More

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Can Republican Politicians Change Their Tune on Climate and Energy?

When former Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) ran for president in 2011, he flatly rejected climate science and even claimed that scientists had manipulated climate data. But last week, in response to a question about climate and energy issues at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he touted his environmental record, instead. Read More

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Uintas Pika Watch or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Middle Schoolers

Guest Bogger

Johanna Varner
Ph.D. Candidate at University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

A decade ago, I would have NEVER have believed that I would write the following words, but here they are: I love working with 7th graders! My twenty-something self would have further cringed at the idea of leading dozens of boisterous middle schoolers through quiet mountain landscapes. And yet, here I am, traipsing across alpine boulder fields with 60 of my closest 7th grade friends. Read More

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3 Reasons You Don’t Want to Communicate About Your Research but Absolutely Should

Many scientists are understandably reticent when it comes to communicating their work or engaging in the policymaking process. I sympathize — truly, I do! — but here’s why I think you should go for it anyway. Read More

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Charles Mann and The Atlantic Miss The Mark in a Confused Climate Change Piece

A recent climate change article by Charles C. Mann in The Atlantic left me scratching my head. The title, “How to Talk About Climate Change So People Will Listen” piqued my interest. It’s something I grapple with every day. But instead of focusing on how our public conversations about climate change are shifting, he lingers on what he sees as failed efforts to enact national climate policy. Mann is a serious and respected writer — who happens to work with some of my favorite magazines — so this piece felt like a missed opportunity. Read More

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Ecoservice: What It Is and Why Scientists Should Do More of It

Guest Bogger

Miranda Redmond, Ph.D. candidate
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado-Boulder

Boulder, Colorado

I am a forest ecologist and ecoservice enthusiast. You may be wondering, “What is ecoservice?” In a recent paper on the subject, Roberto Salguero-Gomez and others defined ecoservice as an activity other than research and teaching assistantships that increases the public’s environmental awareness. Ecoservice may include teaching K-12 students, volunteering at environmental organizations, or organizing workshops for the general public, but it always uses science to educate and engage others about the world around them. Read More

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3 Ways Scientists Can Talk About Their Work Without Utterly and Completely Losing Their Audience

“So…what do you do for a living?” It’s a cliché question in Washington, D.C., where I live, but it’s not entirely unheard of outside the Beltway. Read More

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Blurring the Lines: Integrating Science and Policy

Guest Bogger

Julian Reyes, IGERT NSPIRE Fellow
Civil and Environmental Engineering, Washington State University

Pullman, Washington

When I was eleven, I would diligently watch The Weather Channel’s “Tropical Update” and carefully track movements of tropical storms. This segment had a cult following—me. Visiting my relatives one summer, they found it odd that I preferred The Weather Channel over cartoons on a Saturday morning. Read More

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