Science Borealis – Lighting up Canadian Scicomm

Posted 25 August 2014 by Matt Shipman

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Jenny Ryan, a communications manager at Canadian Science Publishing and a founding member of the team behind the Canadian digital science salon Science Borealis. Ryan writes here about the evolution of Science Borealis from concept to reality, lessons learned during that process, and what the project’s organizers hope to do next. What happens when a bunch of Canadian science bloggers team up? Well, in the case of Science Borealis they turn their... Read more

One Way To Highlight Diversity in STEM Fields

Posted 29 July 2014 by Matt Shipman

The fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (known collectively as STEM) have a diversity problem. In 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that women, African Americans and Hispanics are significantly under-represented in STEM fields. For example, in 2011, 11 percent of the U.S. workforce was African American, while 6 percent of STEM workers were African American. And while Hispanics made up 15 percent of the workforce, they made up only 7 percent of STEM workers. Women made up 48... Read more

Why a Bunch of Science Writers Are Writing About a Fictional Planet

Posted 22 July 2014 by Matt Shipman

Tatooine is a desert planet, home to Luke Skywalker and Jabba the Hutt, as well as a menagerie of large beasts: banthas and dewbacks, krayt dragons and sarlacci. Tatooine is also, of course, not a real place. Science writing aims to convey ideas, engaging and educating readers on topics from biology to astronomy. Because science writing is focused on real efforts to understand the real universe, you might reasonably ask why a collection of science writers have chosen to spend... Read more

Ocean 180: Challenging Scientists to Explain their Research

Posted 1 July 2014 by Matt Shipman

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Mallory Watson, a scientist with the Florida Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence. Watson is also part of the Ocean 180 Video Challenge, which aims to help scientists improve their science communication skills by creating short videos that explain scientific research and its relevance. This post offers an overview of Ocean 180, how it came into being, and how marine scientists can participate. I suspect this may be of interest to folks... Read more

Big Picture Lessons from an Unfortunate Tweet

Posted 21 May 2014 by Matt Shipman

Editor’s note: A recent tweet from Pat Sajak, host of the American gameshow Wheel of Fortune, has stirred up a great deal of attention regarding celebrities, soapboxes and scientific subjects (climate change, in this case). In many instances, this attention has taken the form of people in the science community rolling their eyes or making sarcastic remarks. But Marshall Shepherd, former president of the American Meteorological Society and director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program at the University of Georgia, is... Read more

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