You are browsing the archive for science communication Archives - AGU Blogosphere.

30 November 2015

Women don beards for documentary about inequality in the geosciences

When Ellen confided in me that she doesn’t feel like she fits the image of a paleontologist, I was speechless. Ellen can never just be one scientist among many, she told me, because she is a woman. She has to disprove the stereotype that women are weak while exhibiting herself as a success story – a woman who can make it in a man’s world – adding pressure to an already intense workload. She can’t just do her work, she has to somehow be more.


9 November 2015

What makes newsworthy science? Depends on your audience.

As a scientist-turned-journalist, I have approached scientific research from two different angles. When I was a researcher, I paid the most attention to papers that related to my specific areas of interest, and evaluated them based on how they furthered my community’s understanding of my field. As a reporter, however, I consume new research with a slightly different set of questions in mind. I still wonder, “what do these results tell us about how the world works?” but I also have to ask myself, “will my audience be interested?”


2 November 2015

Showing by (simply) telling

Why did I decide to submit an abstract for the “Up-Goer Five Giving-It-a-Try” session at the 2015 AGU Fall Meeting, which challenges scientists to explain their work using only the 1,000 most common words in the English language? Well, I’m already presenting my research for the meeting, so I’ve got the talk outline and figures already queued up. That made my decision easier. But, what I really wanted was to see whether I could translate my work into simplified language. Scientists love jargon, but I think it’s equally as fun to discover just how common (or uncommon) even basic geology-related words are. All I can say is that it’s lucky “rock” is one of those words, or it would have been really hard to write my abstract in Up-Goer language!


27 October 2015

Ignite a crowd, in just 5 minutes, at the AGU Fall Meeting

Scientists are increasingly encouraged to share the meaning and implications of their research with non-scientists. And, as many who have attempted this endeavor at a party or a Thanksgiving dinner table know, talking about scientific research with those outside your field is difficult. Yet, it can be fun and rewarding.

Being able to convey the details and importance of your work can help to boost public support for science, enhance your career prospects and improve your chances of finding funding. Communication is a skill not typically taught as part of scientific training, but training and practice can help you communicate more effectively.

Ignite@AGU is one such opportunity for researchers to hone their communication skills and become more comfortable talking about their work with diverse audiences. Similar to a TED talk, Ignite gives presenters just five minutes and 20 auto-advancing slides to make their point.


14 October 2015

Sharing Science Week

Join AGU from October 11-17, 2015, for Sharing Science Week – an opportunity to share your science with community groups, school groups, policy makers, the media, or anyone who may not be familiar with your work as a scientist.


12 October 2015

Riding a “Roller Coaster” at National Geographic

“Is that it?” I ask the security guard at the desk.

“That’s it,” he says.

That moment marked the end of my roller coaster ride in a fellowship program with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in which scientists work summer stints as reporters in news outlets across the country.


7 October 2015

Start Talking Science – a Philly #scicomm event

Start Talking Science is a free public event where STEM researchers present posters detailing their research to a general audience, hoping to foster insightful conversations and connections, and increase public interest in the cutting-edge research taking place in Philadelphia


3 June 2015

SoapBox Science – bringing science to public spaces

Soapbox Science is a public outreach platform for promoting women scientists and the science they do. Events transform public areas into an arena for public learning and scientific debate.


27 May 2015

The sounds and songs of climate data

Have you heard the statement, “any geophysical time series can be represented by music.” Look no further than this blog post to listen to the sounds of climate data over time.


2 February 2015

The Funny Side of A Missed Forecast

I made an appearance on our local talk show Delmarva Life last Friday with Mike Lichniak our weekend meteorologist, and we talked about the funny side of a missed forecast. Our morning meteorologist Brian Keane also chimed in with some of the messages from social media. I also talked about how we forecasters can communicate a difficult forecast in a better way. Note: Skip to about 20 secs into the …


22 December 2014

Guest Post – Natural Hazards Education and Communications

Welcome to the first-ever guest post on the GeoEd Trek blog, focusing on the teaching of landslides and earthquake dynamics in the Himalayas and the EGU 2015 session on Natural Hazards Education and Communications


8 December 2014

Geoscientist and singer-songwriter shares her creative side at AGU’s Open Mic Night – and you can, too

Science is about discovering universal truths. Music, they say, is a universal language. So what better way to communicate science than through music?


1 October 2014

Science haiku to communicate research and more

NOAA is doing it. Even the entire IPCC Report was boiled down to 19 illustrated haiku. Can science-themed haiku be used for education & outreach, or just for fun?


13 June 2014

Go Local or Go Home

By Beth Bartel, Outreach Specialist, UNAVCO Okay, maybe that title is a bit harsh. When it comes to delivering a message about hazards and risk, there’s certainly benefit in delivering broad messages, to a broad public. But what I’d like to focus on is the power of targeting communication about natural hazards and risk to a local audience, and connecting with your audience through stories. So let’s start with one. …


11 June 2014

Are geoscience journals ready for video abstracts?

How do we “get the word out” about a new paper we have published, whether the focus is scientific or pedagogical?  We list the citation on our CV’s and perhaps on our faculty page of a department website.  We might send copies to collaborators and colleagues at other institutions.  And some of us will use social media to share the news of having a new manuscript released. Social science researchers …


24 May 2014

The Deterministic Dilemma

This is a guest post from Sean Sublette, the Chief Meteorologist for WSET-TV in Lynchburg-Roanoke, Va. It gives you an idea of the issues that forecasters face in attempting to communicate a forecast, and the uncertainty that is always present in any scientific prediction. I’ve thought about it for a few years now. Greg Fishel, Chief Meteorologist at WRAL in Raleigh, mentioned it at a conference a couple of years ago. More recently, …


22 May 2014

Applying science to natural resource policy issues: Social science joins natural and physical sciences

By Jana Davis, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Trust As AGU members, we generally focus on the contribution of physical and natural science solutions to policy questions. But sometimes an issue calls for us to step outside the boundaries of these “hard” sciences to the social sciences. Areas in which many of us tend to be less comfortable. And less trained. Watershed restoration and protection can be just such an issue. …


21 May 2014

Elected Officials are Human, Too

By John Bwarie, Founder, Stratiscope Having served as staff for over a decade for three L.A. City Councilmen, as well as L.A. Mayor James Hahn, I’ve been on the receiving end of countless requests for support, meetings, and action from concerned citizens and interest groups. In 2010, my world was turned upside down when I started working with USGS scientists to inform policymakers on how science can be used as …


20 December 2013

Senator Olympia Snowe Encourages Scientists to Make Their Voices Heard

The large auditorium was standing-room only for former Senator Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) address at AGU’s 2013 Fall Meeting. An ally with a history of standing up for many of AGU’s key issues on and off Capitol Hill, Senator Snowe resigned in January of 2013 over what she saw as an increasingly inept and hyper-partisan atmosphere in Congress. During her time in the Senate, Snowe positioned herself in the middle of …


22 November 2013

Speak science to me: AGU’s expert outreach network

Let me tell you… “People should know about this!” That comment, or a variation on it (“More people should know about this!”; “Why don’t people know about this?”) is one that comes up often when talking about science. It’s a phrase I used a lot when I was still studying marine invertebrates, and it was one of the main reasons I went into science communication and outreach. Whether it’s about …