Non-English Science Communication: An Overview

Posted 21 March 2014 by Matt Shipman

Editor's note: This is a guest post by Ivan Fernando Gonzalez, a bilingual scientist and science communicator. Gonzalez moderated a session on non-English science communication at ScienceOnline Together last month. He recaps the session here. (This post can also be found on Gonzalez's blog, ScienceSalsa.) The Non-English science communication discussion session at ScienceOnline Together (ScioLang) started as mission impossible. My mission, if I decided to accept it, was to generate a discussion in a room full of strangers about how science is... Read more

Bringing People with Disabilities into the Research Community

Posted 12 March 2014 by Matt Shipman

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Rebecca Tripp, a scientist with experience in canopy biology. Tripp is also paralyzed from the waist down, and writes here about what can be done to encourage students and scientists with disabilities to participate in scientific research. Growing up on the rugged coast of Maine, I developed a deep love of nature at a young age, and a strong desire to preserve it as I grew to understand the innumerable and increasingly... Read more

Science and the Evangelical Communities: Earnest, Imperfect Steps Forward

Posted 26 February 2014 by Matt Shipman

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Jen Davison, a research scientist and science communicator at the University of Washington’s College of the Environment. Davison attended this year’s AAAS meeting in Chicago, and writes about a session there on science and religion. As Galen Carey, vice president for government relations for the National Association of Evangelicals, took his place in front of a room full of researchers and science journalists, he asked the crowd, “So why aren’t y’all at... Read more

Why I Started Sciworthy.com

Posted 17 February 2014 by Matt Shipman

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Graham Short, a researcher at the California Academy of Sciences and founder of the science news site, Sciworthy. Sciworthy.com is a newly-launched science news platform for emerging and established scientists (grad students, post-docs, and Ph.Ds) to summarize their scientific research papers for a non-scientific or lay audience in order to share with family, friends, the general public, and even fellow scientists in other specialties. Each posting includes an engaging headline, the non-technical... Read more

NSF’s ‘Indicators’ Report: Science Communication, News and Television

Posted 11 February 2014 by Matt Shipman

If you want to engage in science communication, getting mainstream news coverage offers the most bang for your buck. But is anyone interested? And which news outlets should you try to reach? A recent report from the National Science Foundation (NSF) offers some interesting insights into science news coverage and public attitudes toward science. One of my take-home messages? Television matters even more than I thought. NSF released its Science and Engineering Indicators report on Feb. 6. The report, which... Read more

A Case for Scientists to Talk to Reporters (and Work with PIOs)

Posted 22 January 2014 by Matt Shipman

Many scientists are reluctant to talk to reporters about their research, much less work with their institution’s public information officers (PIOs) to draw the attention of the press in the first place. But a recent study highlights the fact that working with “traditional media” may create professional benefits for scientists. A paper describing the work, “A Case Study in Serendipity: Environmental Researchers Use of Traditional and Social Media for Dissemination,” was published December 13, 2013, in PLOS ONE. The paper... Read more

How Science Communication Can Help Build Public Support for Science Funding

Posted 13 January 2014 by Matt Shipman

Any scientist can tell you that it is becoming increasingly difficult to get research grants, which are the lifeblood of research programs at universities and other institutions. But there are things that can be done to boost public support for research funding, and they all involve science communication. As a percentage of gross domestic product, research and development funding stayed relatively constant (and even increased slightly) in the United States and European Union between 1995 and 2011 (according to this... Read more

Canada’s Science Communication Problem (and Two Things That Could Change It)

Posted 19 December 2013 by Matt Shipman

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Stephen Strauss, a freelance science journalist and president of the Canadian Science Writers’ Association. These days when I start to talk to people outside Canada about our federal government’s muzzling of its scientists, I invariably say somewhere along the way “it’s kinda Rob Ford-like.” Ford is, for the 0.0001 per cent of you unfamiliar with the name, Toronto’s crack smoking, drunk driving, journalist defaming, woman groping, bullyboy of a mayor. And I... Read more

Science, Science Communication Slowly Recovering at Federal Agencies

Posted 21 October 2013 by Matt Shipman

The partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government may be over, but federal agencies are still calculating the long-term impact of the shutdown on science and science communication efforts. Antarctic research projects were early, high-profile victims of the shutdown, with Science reporting Oct. 20 that the National Science Foundation (NSF) is already notifying some researchers that their projects will be delayed by a year. Researchers can also expect significant delays on grant proposals that have been submitted to research agencies.... Read more

A Gathering Storm: Shutdown’s Impact on Meteorology, Preparedness and Related Outreach

Posted 15 October 2013 by Matt Shipman

Editor’s Note: One type of science communication that most people take for granted is the weather forecast. And, like many other types of science communication, meteorology is suffering due to the partial shutdown of the U.S. government. To get more information on the shutdown’s impact on this aspect of science communication, I solicited this guest post from Marshall Shepherd, president of the American Meteorological Society and director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Georgia. His remarks are... Read more