Taking Science to the People: A Communication Primer for Scientists and Engineers

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Carolyn Johnsen
U of Nebraska Press, 2010 - Science - 112 pages
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The American public, government, and the news media continually grapple with myriad policy issues related to science and technology. Those issues include global warming, energy, stem-cell research, health care, childhood autism, food safety, and genetics, to name but a few. When the public is informed on such topics, chances improve for reasoned policy decisions. Journalists have typically bridged the gap between scientists and the public, but the times now call for more engagement from the experts. The authors in this collection write convincingly about why scientists and engineers should shake off their ivory-tower reticence and take science to the people. Taking Science to the Peoplecalls on scientists and engineers to polish their writing and speaking skills in order to communicate more clearly about their work to the public, policy makers, and reporters who cover science. The authors represent a range of experience and authority, including distinguished scientists who write well about science, federal officials who communicate to Congress about science, and science journalists who weigh in with their own expertise. In this long-overdue volume, scientists, engineers, and journalists will find both a convincing rationale for communicating well about science and many practical methods for doing so.
 

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Contents

1 The Difficulty of Nubbing Togethera Regurgitative Purwell and aSuperaminative Wennel Sprocket
1
2 Who Is Science Writing For?
15
3 Taking Your Science to the Capital
21
4 B uilding a Better Science Communicator
37
5 Reflections of an EngineerScience Writer
45
From Academia to Mass Media to the Public
51
7 Building New Medias Science Information on thePillars of Journalism
61
8 Preparing Scientists to Deal with Reporters
69
9 Picture Power
75
10 Communicating Real Science through Hollywood Science
81
The Challenge and the Need to Talk and Write about Science
91
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About the author (2010)

Carolyn Johnsen teaches science writing in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She is the author of Raising a Stink: The Struggle over Factory Hog Farms in Nebraska, available in a Bison Books edition.   Contributors: David Ehrenstein, Leslie Fink, John Janovy Jr., Kristine Kelly, Warren Leary, Stacey Pasco, Sidney Perkowitz, Boyce Rensberger, Margaret Wertheim, Gene Whitney, Eddy Von Mueller, and Abby Vogel.

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