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Posts Tagged ‘science communication’

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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Misquoting Science in the Texas Textbook Battles

Guest Bogger

James A. Shapiro Professor of Bacterial Genetics and Microbiology , University of Chicago

December 4th brought a striking concurrence of events revealing how the opponents of science education operate.

I had just participated in a Union of Concerned Scientists webinar about “Getting Science Right in the Media: Rapid response to the good, the bad, and the provocative.” The point of the webinar was to provide information about how to combat misinformation about research. Read More

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The Balancing Act: Public Engagement for the Academic Scholar

Guest Bogger

Andrew J. Hoffman, professor, University of Michigan
Stephen M. Ross School of Business and the School of Natural Resources & Environment

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Each spring, my colleagues and I perform a common ritual; we fill out our annual activities reports to summarize our research, teaching, and service accomplishments for the year. As we fill them out, we are keenly aware that the primary metric is really research, and in particular, research published in top tier academic journals. Attempts at public or political engagement are overlooked or even discouraged as an “impractical” waste of time. Read More

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When the Government Shuts Down, So Does Federal Science

When you work in DC, the ongoing drama of the budget stalemate and government shutdown is a part of your daily life.  The metro is emptier, traffic is lighter, and all our wonderful museums and monuments are closed. Read More

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Al Gore, Climate Science, and the Responsibility for Careful Communication

UPDATE (Aug. 28, 11:45 a.m.): Ezra Klein has confirmed that there was likely a transcript error. Read more.

UPDATE (Aug. 23, 1:35 p.m.): According to Joe Romm at Climate Progress, the full transcript of Vice President Gore’s remarks was incorrectly transcribed by the Post. Read more.

When I was in fourth grade, I wrote Vice President Al Gore a letter about my passion for saving the planet and I was ecstatic when he wrote back. I believed then, as I do now, that he is a strong voice for issues with an environmental component such as climate change. And, importantly, he has become, to many people, the public face of climate science.

He deserves great praise for these Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning efforts. But unfortunately he recently got it wrong about the science of climate change. Read More

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