You are browsing the archive for SciComm Action Archives - The Plainspoken Scientist.
9 May 2019
How do we regard the vast planetary time scales that span the Earth Sciences? How do we regard a figure showing changes in Earth’s temperature since the age of dinosaurs, as spring rains pelt against the window, making rivulets that will evaporate before we leave the office, before we finish that email, and check our analysis, and pay that bill, and tweet that article, and lead that meeting, and, and, and…all in the next three hours. The Paleocene was 65 million years ago. The average human lifespan is just 79 years.
16 April 2019
As a classical pianist and composer, my natural talent was present but practice was essential. You need one or the other to be good, and both to be exceptional. All the hours each day I spent writing and experimenting with musical devices, or exercising a variety of quirky, intricate techniques on the piano, were crucial to forming solid skills and artistry. Practice makes perfect, and it also provides confidence, endurance, and mastery for when the stage is set.
11 March 2019
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.”
4 March 2019
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.
14 January 2019
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 …
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.
3 December 2018
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!
19 November 2018
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 …
26 October 2018
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 …
23 October 2018
How do you frame the messaging behind changes in future climate? Remind people of the hottest days they’ve ever experienced.