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20 February 2014

Even Stephen is hawking his science differently

Stephen Hawking demonstrated recently how the traditional process of sharing research results is changing when he uploaded a paper about black holes to the web. Photo credit: NASA.

CHICAGO – Last month, Stephen Hawking uploaded a two-page commentary about his new ideas about black holes to arXiv, a preprint server hosted by Cornell University Library covering research in physics, mathematics, computer science, nonlinear sciences, quantitative biology and statistics.

The paper generated buzz among journalists, who reported on Hawking’s commentary, and it also took off on social media and in the blogosphere where others in the scientific community commented on, discussed and contested Hawking’s ideas.

What Hawking did — posting his thoughts to the site rather than going through the traditional channels — and the commentary that ensued would not have been possible a decade ago, Carl Zimmer, a columnist with The New York Times, told an audience here Feb.13 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

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10 November 2011

From The S Factor Blog: Know Your Audience

Improve your video-making skills! (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Over the next few blog posts, I will be sharing some tips to aid our up-and-coming scientist-filmmakers in planning, developing, and executing better video storytelling. Some of the tips will be theoretical in nature, while others will focus on the technical craft of filmmaking. Today, we will discuss a critical component to developing effective media: Targeting an Audience.

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24 October 2011

Improve Your Science Communication Skills at Fall Meeting

NASA officials talk to members of the press. (Credit: NASA)

On the Sunday (12/4) before the scientific program begins, AGU is hosting a free, all-day training event for scientists wishing to become more adept at communicating with the press, the public, policymakers and other non-scientists. The event includes both a panel discussion about science communication and workshops where you will get to exercise your skills. Plus we’ll feed you lunch!

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13 October 2011

Science press decries elusive federal science experts, applauds better data access

Journalists rated the Obama administration on transparency and access to information in a recent panel at the National Press Club. (Credit: Ed Brown, via Wikimedia Commons

Federal scientists should be more accessible to journalists, reporters said last week at a National Press Club event in Washington, D.C. The panel discussion “Access Denied: Science News and Government Transparency” addressed whether or not the Obama administration is living up to its promise to make science more transparent and accessible. And several journalists on the panel said there is still a ways to go.

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30 September 2011

Scientists: Meet the journalists

Whenever I teach a media training workshop to scientists, I am pretty sure that two issues are going to pop up. The first is the inevitable question: “How can I review the story before it runs?” Scientists will be disappointed with that one, because the answer is, basically, sorry, you can’t. And the second issue is a litany of complaints about how journalists work: they oversimplify the science, their headlines …

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3 June 2011

Becoming Media Savvy: Bloopers to Learn From

Becoming Media Savvy: Bloopers to Learn From

Camera lenses and microphones are not as intimidating to me as they once were. That may be because I learn well from my mistakes, and I’ve made many of them when dealing with the media. I still make errors when doing interviews, but the lessons I’ve learned continue to prove beneficial as I strive to bring earth and ocean science to a broader audience.

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30 March 2011

Thinking (of science) like a journalist: A physicist’s take on a media training workshop

The Inverted Pyramid: A representation of how journalists organize news stories.

Clear and accessible science communication has been a priority throughout my 20-year scientific career as a physicist working in wildly interdisciplinary entrepreneurial R&D settings. Like most scientists, I’ve not had much occasion to talk to “the media,” but I’m also a science news junkie and aware that the thirst for information among the public is increasing.

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7 March 2011

Media fellow journeys to the “other side”

Media fellow journeys to the “other side”

On the heels of defending my Ph.D. in soil ecology, I headed off to northern Colorado last September for the next step in my scientific journey: working at a radio station. In graduate school I had pursued some science writing training, but I had never been employed as a journalist. I hoped the experience would help me understand why it can be hard for scientists and journalists to communicate with each other and what the barriers are to providing accurate and comprehensive coverage of science in the media.

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29 November 2010

Getting the word out: Helping scientists engage with the media

Jeff Taylor

Guest post by Jeff Taylor, postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and project manager of AGU’s Climate Q&A Service . More than 700 AGU scientists have volunteered to take part in this year’s Climate Q&A Service which was created to quickly provide answers to questions about climate change that journalists might have. It was launched last year just before the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15), …

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20 October 2010

One-minute science

Marissa Weiss at KUNK radio's recording studio.

Guest post by soil ecologist Marissa Weiss, AGU’s 2010 Mass Media Fellow, on her stint as a radio reporter in Colorado. The first post of her series can be found here. I arrived to the KUNC newsroom on Monday, September 27th. By Friday, I had my first assignment, a news spot (about one minute long) on a study of the benefits of the recent healthcare legislation to Coloradans, due the …

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