24 October 2011

Improve Your Science Communication Skills at Fall Meeting

Posted by kramsayer

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

If you’re going to the upcoming AGU Fall Meeting and are interested in communicating easily and skillfully about science, here’s an event you might want to sign up for:

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!

Space is limited and sign up ends Mon., Oct. 31, so don’t delay in letting us know of your interest. To learn more, read below and/or check out the ‘Communicating Your Science: Panel and Workshops’ website here.

Here’s a preview of what to expect:

The event starts at 10:00 a.m. on Sun., Dec. 4, with a morning panel that includes USA Today science reporter Dan Vergano, ocean scientist and book author Ellen Prager, Dan Kahan, a Yale University expert on how people’s values affect their perceptions of science, and more.

In the afternoon, attendees will have the option to go to two of four workshops. In the first workshop, Communicating with the News Media, newspaper reporters Dan Vergano of USA Today and Steve Connor of The Independent (U.K.) will give scientists tips on how to talk to reporters. The workshop will also include opportunities to do mock interviews.

Callan Bentley, a veteran science blogger and geology professor, and John Cook, creator and author of the website Skeptical Science, will lead the second workshop, called Using Social Media. Bentley and Cook will engage you in how to use social media (like blogs and Twitter) to take part in online discussions about science.

Susan Joy Hassol, the director of Climate Communication, and David Hosansky, head of media relations at UCAR/NCAR, will host the third workshop, Communicating Climate Science, where you will find out about and practice ways to more effectively convey accurate climate science to people from many walks of life.

In the fourth workshop – Delivering Your Message: Lessons from Stand-up Comedy – Brian Malow, the Science Comedian, will demonstrate how scientists can become effective storytellers by using humor and by drawing on their own strengths. Attendees will be asked to participate in an exercise on crafting messages about their research.

Free lunch will be served between the morning panel and the afternoon workshops. Training is limited to 100 scientists and sign up ends Mon., Oct. 31. To learn more about the training and to sign up, click here. AGU will let you know by Nov. 1 whether or not you are on the list of attendees.

– Mary Catherine Adams, AGU Public Information Specialist