Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist's Guide to Talking to by Cornelia Dean

By Cornelia Dean

What we don’t recognize can harm us—and does so on a daily basis. weather swap, overall healthiness care coverage, guns of mass destruction, an getting older infrastructure, stem mobile examine, endangered species, house exploration—all have an effect on our lives as electorate and people in functional and profound methods. yet except we comprehend the technological know-how in the back of those matters, we can't make moderate decisions—and worse, we're liable to propaganda cloaked in clinical rhetoric.

To express the evidence, this e-book indicates, scientists needs to take a extra lively position in making their paintings available to the media, and therefore to the general public. In Am I Making Myself Clear? Cornelia Dean, a exceptional technological know-how editor and reporter, urges scientists to beat their institutional reticence and enable their voices be heard past the discussion board of scholarly e-book. through providing beneficial tricks for bettering their interactions with policymakers, the general public, and her fellow reporters, Dean goals to alter the angle of scientists who scorn the mass media as an enviornment the place very important paintings is just too usually misrepresented or hyped. much more very important, she seeks to persuade them of the price and urgency of speaking to the general public.

Am I Making Myself Clear? exhibits scientists tips on how to communicate to the general public, deal with the media, and describe their paintings to a lay viewers on paper, on-line, and over the airwaves. it's a booklet that may increase the tone and content material of discussion over severe concerns and may serve the pursuits of technological know-how and society.

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Additional resources for Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Public

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In striving to be “objective” journalists try to tell all sides of the story. am i making myself clear? But it is not always easy for us to tell when a science story really has more than one side—or to know who must be heeded and who can safely be ignored. When we cast too wide a net in search of balance, we can end up painting situations as more complicated or confusing than they really are. You can think of plenty of examples of such stories: climate change (it’s real, and people are contributing to it); HIV and AIDS (the virus does cause the disease); vaccine preservatives as a cause of autism (not).

If a thing or event is going to have major repercussions—if it is going to change medical practice, move the stock market, or close a highway, it is more likely to make news. Eminence or celebrity—the importance or fame of the people or institutions involved. ” This is one 32 the landscape of journalism reason why press releases for journals like Science and Nature identify the work sites of researchers whose papers they publish—they know news outlets love reports about people in their area. Timeliness.

Know your audience In my view, it is this ignorance of how research is done, as much as ignorance of scientific or technical facts, that leads so many Americans to embrace creationism, astrology, and UFOs. Statistics on this point vary according to how questions are asked, but the National Science Foundation, in its 2008 survey of attitudes toward and knowledge of science, found that a minority of Americans—about 45 percent—accept the theory of evolution, a percentage that has held more or less steady for years.

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