Archive for April 11th, 2010
The science of climate change and even the scientists themselves are under attack from a well-orchestrated and well-oiled misinformation campaign. The best defense against this anti-science offensive is to make sure that the correct message reaches a wide audience. Chris Mooney & Sheril Kirshenbaum in their book Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future explain that scientists have failed to get their message across for a variety of reasons but mostly because we are not engaging the public on their turf. After reading that book, I became a climate change science education advocate with my Global Warming: Man or Myth? Website, this blog, and more recently a Facebook Fan Group called Global Warming Fact of the Day. I have two small children and I do not like the future that I see for them or for their children in a human-driven warmer world. As I travel the blogosphere and as I watch television, it is quite apparent that Moody & Kirshenbaum are on to something. Scientists have fallen quite short of being the expert communicators that they must be for no less a reason than our future is at stake. Obviously we have much to learn.
I was fortunate enough to recently attend the Communicating Science Workshop sponsored by Stony Brook University Center and Brookhaven National Laboratory where Alan Alda gave the keynote address. The agenda for the workshop can be viewed here. Participants were able to attend three breakout sessions. I attended the following: Distilling Your Message, Using Newer Media, and Interacting with the Media. I came away from this workshop with many valuable tips and tricks to be a better science communicator and I will use this blog post to share these gems with you.