Long Beach, California

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | May 13, 2009 10:19 am

I’m at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific entering the second full day of an oceans workshop. Here’s a glance at my panel from yesterday:

Scientists and Communicators Working Together:  A Panel Discussion to Identify Keys to Success.  (Jerry Schubel, moderator)

VADM Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr U.S. Navy Retired, former NOAA Administrator
RADM Richard West, U.S. Navy Retired, former oceanographer/navigator of the Navy, past president, Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE)
Sheril Kirshenbaum, associate at Duke University and co-author with Chris Mooney; Unscientific America: How Scienctific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future
Edward Maibach, professor, Department of Communications, director of Center for Climate Change Communications, George Mason University

For my part, I emphasized the importance of connecting with people aside from just feeding ‘the facts’, and then shared experiences from my work in research, policy, and journalism. We had a terrific discussion that could have gone on much longer than time allowed.Some more details about Aquarium of the Pacific:

The Aquarium of the Pacific’s mission is to instill a sense of wonder, respect, and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants, and ecosystems. Our vision is to create the first aquarium, and perhaps the first institution, in the world dedicated to conserving and building Natural Capital (Nature and Nature’s services) by building Social Capital (the interactions between and among peoples).

I also finally got to experience the wonders of spherecasting. Chris was right–magnificent.  Now for day two…


Comments (6)

  1. Ooohh, what’s Ed Maibach like in person? I’ve read his work on health care communications but have yet to meet him. Is he eminently persuasive?

  2. Al Dove

    Maibach was great. he had some really helpful suggetions about turning science communication on its head.

  3. Is he eminently persuasive?

    Ed’s terrific! He provides a much needed perspective on communication and the environment, plus he’s very nice to boot :)


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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 info@hachettespeakersbureau.com For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at srkirshenbaum@yahoo.com.


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