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You are browsing the archive for SciComm Action Archives - The Plainspoken Scientist.

9 September 2019

Getting outside the comfort of the journalism classroom to encourage science

Newsrooms are giving more attention to climate change and writing about science, so preparing future journalists to cover difficult topics is essential.

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7 June 2019

Community (and Communication) Don’t Happen Naturally

Six months ago, I had no idea what a community manager was.

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27 May 2019

Revealing the baseline of geoscience outreach

Geoscience has been one of the least diverse STEM fields for nearly four decades, perhaps in part because our science isn’t making it to those who are outside our departments and institutions. In the era of climate change skepticism, geoscientists who practice science communication could provide immense value to their local and global communities by serving as Earth experts who can empower non-scientists to engage in reasoning and analysis in all aspects of life.

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9 May 2019

Earth’s Past in Poetry

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. 

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16 April 2019

Stare into the Lens Until You Feel Comfortable

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.

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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?

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.

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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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