Online Tools: The Waaaave of the Future

The online tools session at ScienceOnline Together 2014. Photo: Russ Creech.
The online tools session at ScienceOnline Together 2014. Photo: Russ Creech.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Eleanor Spicer Rice, a freelance science writer and co-founder of the science communication company Verdant Word. She is also co-founder of the science/art blog BuzzHootRoar (she’s Roar) and the author of Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants and Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants of New York City. Continue reading “Online Tools: The Waaaave of the Future”

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Seniority, Self-Confidence Predict Whether Scientists Will Work With Media

Photo: Edward A. Hubbard.

While some scientists are happy to talk to reporters, many want nothing to do with news media. I’ve met researchers who think that talking to journalists is beneath them, and others who are clearly terrified by the very idea. What’s going on here? What makes some scientists agree to discuss their work with the non-expert public? Earlier this month I ran across a study that sheds some light on the subject. Continue reading “Seniority, Self-Confidence Predict Whether Scientists Will Work With Media”

A Practical Step to Bridge the Divide Between Scientists and Journalists

It’s never too late to bring reporters into a science classroom. And, FYI, this is not a photo of Frank Swain. (Photo courtesy of Marc Hall, North Carolina State University.)

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Frank Swain, a freelance science writer who has written for Wired, the Guardian and New Scientist, among other outlets. He also runs the SciencePunk blog. Since October 2011, Swain has also served as national coordinator (in the UK) for the BenchPress Project – which was established to provide reporters with training in science and statistics. I asked him to write this post, in part, because I think the BenchPress Project is very relevant to a forthcoming session at ScienceOnline 2013 on incorporating science into breaking news.] Continue reading “A Practical Step to Bridge the Divide Between Scientists and Journalists”

Preparing For an Interview, Part Three: Researchers (for TV and Radio)

Photo: powerjacob/stock.xchng

To many researchers, the only thing more terrifying than doing a taped TV interview is doing a live TV interview. Going on live radio is only a little less scary. But if you are prepared, and don’t panic, TV and radio interviews can be very effective science communication tools. Continue reading “Preparing For an Interview, Part Three: Researchers (for TV and Radio)”

Preparing For an Interview, Part Two: Researchers (for Print and Online Media)

Photo courtesy of Roger Winstead, North Carolina State University.

Scientists are often nervous about being interviewed by reporters. This is often because they are worried that reporters will misrepresent their work or make them look foolish. Human ingenuity is boundless, so there is no foolproof way to ensure that reporters will get everything right. However, there are things that scientists can do to help ensure that they communicate their work effectively, and significantly improve the odds that their work is presented accurately. Continue reading “Preparing For an Interview, Part Two: Researchers (for Print and Online Media)”

Some Thoughts on Facilitating Science Communication by Scientists

What can institutions do to get researchers on the mic? (Image: Roger Winstead, NC State University)

Earlier this year, there was another science communication blame-a-thon, with some people calling on scientists to do more outreach and some scientists wondering why they were being picked on. While both sides made valid points, I’m not sure this advanced the cause of science communication. Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Facilitating Science Communication by Scientists”