It was a pleasure to give the first RSG Keynote of the academic year, thanks to Michelle Paulsen. Details at http://www.tgs.northwestern.edu/about/news-events/stories/
As a proud University of Maryland alumna, I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my favorite small events of 2016 was leading this seminar and workshop for the Duke University PhD Plus program, thanks to Sarah Choyke of the Nicholas School of the Environment - http://phdplus.pratt.duke.edu/content/how/overview
I was honored to give a keynote talk and lead the workshop for this annual Swissnex Digital Campus event. More at http://www.swissnexsanfrancisco.org/event/digital-campus-event-october-2016
Training in Narrative Persuasion for Ethical, Effective Science Communication
Institute on Science for Global Policy - August 10, 2015
A workshop from the Institute on Science for Global Policy, organized and convened in cooperation with Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society. This invitation-only workshop focused on linking scientifically credible information to the formulation and implementation of sound, effective policies. Along with Skip Lupia, and Bill Hallman, I contributed and defended a policy position paper expressing my views of the current realities and the scientific opportunities and challenges related to science communication for policy. Sigma Xi chapter members, science communicators, educators, and interested citizens from across the country joined the debates of our position papers and then broke into small-group caucuses to identify areas of consensus and actionable next steps relevant to addressing science communication issues.
Dowload my position paper here: http://scienceforglobalpolicy.org/publication/communicating-science-for-policy
Read my Twitter summary:
The Ethics of Storytelling in Science Communication
Colorado State University - September 8, 2015
In recent years, many discussions of science communication have progressed from asking whether researchers should personally engage in it to how they might be most effective. While the merits and shortcomings of specific tools are useful to explore – for example, television versus social media – some skills are foundational and translate across all communication tools. Storytelling is one of those. Social scientists are studying narratives to understand why, exactly, they are so much more interesting, understandable, convincing and memorable than other ways of packaging information. It is precisely because stories are powerful that scientists should use them, but also why they must be approached with intellectual honesty, ethical consideration and personal integrity. This talk explored the latest research on the topic of narrative persuasion and storytelling, and critically consider when and how such findings should be employed in science communication efforts.
This presentation was sponsored by the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University.
Distinguished Speakers Symposium: The Art & Science of Science Communication
American Society for Human Genetics - October 8, 2015
In 2015, doing great science is often not enough. We need to be able to effectively communicate our scientific processes and findings to multiple audiences in order to win funding and public support. This symposium features three trailblazers in science communication, working through multiple media sources to engage people with the exciting and challenging stories of human genetics. Our speakers will be Ed Yong, one of the best science journalists working today and author of the blog “Not Exactly Rocket Science”; Liz Neeley, executive director of The Story Collider and architect of science outreach strategies based on public engagement data; and Andrea Downing, patient and data sharing advocate and creator of an online community around BRCA findings.
9:00 - Introduction. C. Gunter. Marcus Autism Ctr, Emory Univ Sch of Med, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
9:10 - “Nobody has to read this crap”, or Why science journalism is not science communication and why that matters. E. Yong. Science Writer.
9:35 - The stories we tell ourselves about science communication. L. Neeley. The Story Collider.
10:00 - ePatients and the power of a connected community. A. Downing. Advocate and Writer.
On a fundamental level, artists are writers who (sometimes) don’t use words. Art can serve myriad purposes when paired with science writing, from being little more than glorified window dressing, to conveying vast quantities of complex information in a remarkably compact package. Art can be a quiet supporting player to the writing, can carry equal weight in the storytelling, or can shoulder the bulk of the communication. This workshop will provide practical nuts-and-bolts advice, but also aim to inspire more conceptual thought about the visual components of science journalism and storytelling.
Yael Fitzpatrick - Manager of Design and Branding, American Geophysical Union
Hal Mayforth - Illustrator
Liz Neeley - Executive Director, The Story Collider
I joined a panel discussion Sunday evening, April 24, moderated by Kerri Miller of Minnesota Public Radio. "Global Challenges at the Interface of Animals, Humans, and the Environment, the Role of Science and Medicine in the Pursuit of One Health"
On Tuesday April 26, I spoke on "Storytelling for Effective Science Communication and Policy." Here's my blurb:
Stories are more interesting, understandable, convincing, and memorable than other forms of presenting information. It is precisely because of these powers that scientists should use them, but also why they must be approached carefully, with intellectual honesty and ethical consideration. This talk will explore the latest research on the topic of narrative persuasion and storytelling, and critically consider when and how such findings should be employed in public policy.
I had not heard of "science diplomacy" before 2016, but was thrilled to add my thoughts on science communication to this one-week course for scientists and policymakers from developing countries. From their description: "The course will expose participants to key contemporary international policy issues relating to science, technology, environment and health, while providing an overview of how technical information has contributed to different policy developments and international structures, both physical and political."
I am looking forward to what is already an incredible slate of Story Collider workshops and shows, and to speaking at conferences such as AAAS, APHL, and NEMC. More details as they approach!