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11 March 2019

Is Chasing Ice an effective message on climate change?

In 2005 and 2006, photographer James Balog set out on expeditions to document the recession of the Sólheimajökull Glacier in Iceland. In many ways, these expeditions changed his life. In 2007, Balog and companions founded the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), an organization devoted to documenting the effects of climate change on glaciers through time-lapse photography. Over 10 years later, the EIS “…provides scientists with basic and vitally important information on the mechanics of glacial melting and educates the public with firsthand evidence of how rapidly the Earth’s climate is changing.”

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4 March 2019

So, you wanna start a science blog?

By Shane M Hanlon I’m not the type of person who’s always thought that I’ve had something to say (at least anything that people would listen to). Back in my grad school days, while I saw the value in science outreach, the “communication” part of that was a little tricky for me. “Who cares what I have to say?” Turns out, some people did. Back in…2013 (2012, maybe?) realized that …

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14 January 2019

The Science of Our Stories, Part II: Moving the Needle on Effective Science Communication

By Sunshine Menezes Young scientists-in-training face a variety of communication challenges, from writing their first lab report to drafting their first proposal, perhaps culminating in their dissertation. All along this part of the career spectrum, students are taught—too often implicitly—what “good” scientific communication looks like. Unfortunately, most corners of academia still emphasize a narrow definition of science communication that focuses on communication with scientific peers. This leaves early career scientists …

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8 January 2019

The Science of Our Stories: How Communication and Training Bridges the Gap Between Scientists and Journalists

All of our lives are made up of stories that help us make sense of the constantly changing world around us. Stories help us understand what is happening, why it’s happening, and the ever-important-question of what can be done about it; They often provide us with the familiar narrative elements – an introduction, plots, main characters, setting, climax, and conclusion – that our brains readily accept as the way the story should go. But when it comes to the story of science, sometimes things get more complex, messy, and completely non-linear.

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3 December 2018

Tell a story, sing a song, & learn some stuff at AGU18!

AGU18 is…next week! Wow, that happened fast. We have a full slate of amazing science communication, policy, and outreach events planned for the entire week of the meeting!

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19 November 2018

Having “The [Climate Change] Talk” with your family

By Shane M Hanlon Thanksgiving can be a time for food, football, and family. And sometimes…uncomfortable family chats, especially around science. We live in a nation where there are disconnects between understanding and acceptance of major scientific issues such as GMOs, evolution, vaccinations, and (especially relevant to AGU scientists*) climate change. With climate change specifically, politics plays a role. Over half of Americans accept human-induced climate change, as well as …

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26 October 2018

A boatload of scientists ran for public office this year. How are they doing?

By Shane M Hanlon Scientists have traditionally been underrepresented in public office, especially at the federal level. In Congress, there are only two PhD scientists – Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill), a physicist, and Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA), a mathematician. While efforts to get more scientists in public office are not new, they ramped up in response to the 2016 election. For example, 314 Action, a DC–based nonprofit leading an organized effort to …

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23 October 2018

Imagine how hot the future will be by looking to your past

How do you frame the messaging behind changes in future climate? Remind people of the hottest days they’ve ever experienced.

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22 October 2018

Are you spending enough time on social media?

By @oceanseaicenpi “Science isn’t finished until it’s communicated”. This famous quote, along with “publish or perish”, highlights perfectly the importance of communication for a scientist. We are all accustomed to publishing our results to our peers through peer-review articles. But, reaching the general public is also in our mandate. In recent years, the increasing use of social media has been accompanied with an increase of both in demand from the …

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4 September 2018

A Voice for All Part I: Cultivating Leadership, Diversity and Inclusivity in Academia

There are distinct moments in life that open our hearts and minds to listening, and motivate us to become better scientists, teachers, administrators, and advocates. In these moments we must not underestimate our individual and collective ability to make our world a better place.

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