Tag: carl sagan

Star Stuff

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | October 13, 2010 1:30 am
MORE ABOUT: carl sagan, star stuff

The Reasons For Sci Comm Training

By Chris Mooney | May 25, 2010 9:28 am

Sagan TimeWhen I blogged the other day about the media training I was doing at MIT, the first comment read as follows:

Frauds at work.

Science is not about PR, Mooney.

You and your ilk make me feel both ill, and embarassed to say I am a scientist.

You should go crawl back under your rock.

To which Aileen Pincus, who also does media training, ably replied:

There’s no question that science is losing the public relations battle, so it’s interesting to me to still find scientists like the poster above who obviously believe that learning to communicate the science somehow harms the science. Yes, those who apply science commercially don’t suffer from such delusions, and they’re a good many of my clients. Others however, come to understand the real world of how science in funded only after long, losing struggles. Public support for science, essential to that funding, isn’t something to be scorned–and that can only happen when scientists learn how to talk to non-scientists.

Indeed–and that is only one of the reasons that many scientists are interested in having such trainings. Read More

Greg Laden on Unscientific America

By Chris Mooney | January 14, 2010 8:39 am

It’s a really thoughtful (if not uncritical) review, and what stood out perhaps most is this great passage:

To combine my own personal view (which I have drifted into here, sorry…) with that of Unscientific America: Regular citizens and scientists are separated by a very narrow but very deep canyon, resting comfortably on either side of this canyon and vaguely aware of the others across the way. When science policy issues arise among the citizenry, the scientists don’t really play a role. When scientists lobby for their funding from the big agencies and other sources, they don’t really account for the people over on the other side of the canyon. This has been the case for years, and over this time, the social and cultural relevance of actual science has pretty much vanished among the [populace], and the ability to understand what motivates or interests the general public… or just even how to talk to them … has disappeared from the culture of science. Not that it was ever there. Looking back, it is clear that the bridges that did exist across this canyon were built by regular people inspired by the occasional super-communicator, such as Carl Sagan. Those bridges were not, in any systematic way, built by the scientists.

Thanks, Greg, for taking the time and giving the thought. Please read his full review here.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Unscientific America
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