Raising STEM Awareness Among
Under-Served and UnderRepresented Audiences
Danielle N. Lee, Ph.D.
Cornell University
Scienti...
Diversify your sources
•
•
•
•

National Science & Technology News Service
CienciaPR (bilingual website)
MinorityPostdoc.o...
Pitch wider
• National Newspaper Publishing Association
• American Urban Radio Networks
• Johnson Publishing Company (Ebon...
Connect to under-served audiences
• Professional Journalism Associations
•
•
•
•

UNITY Journalists for Diversity
National...
Take home messages
• Perceptions of science are not universal values across
all communities
• Start simple with your outre...
STEM News among underserved and under-represented audiences
STEM News among underserved and under-represented audiences
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STEM News among underserved and under-represented audiences

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Raising STEM Awareness Among
Under-Served and Under-Represented Audiences
by Danielle N. Lee, Ph.D.
2014 AAAS Meeting
Science Communication Sessions on Thursday, February 13, 2014
Apart of the panel on Engaging with social Media

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  • SummaryThe African-American community’s relationship with science and research communities has been fraught with many challenges. Despite the economic promise of science plus technology and engineering careers, African-Americans make up less than 10% of the Science & Engineering workforce. Despite opportunities to report on important topics such as energy, the environment, and health technology or on discoveries made African-American scientists, science-related journalism directed to minority audiences is most non-existent. In this presentation I will discuss some the communication challenges that need to be bridged between science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) communities and the journalism communities, specifically ethnic media outlets. Specifically I will outline some of the strategies proposed by the National Science and Technology News Service, a newly media literacy project involving minority scientists, engineers, medical professionals, journalists, and press outlets.
  • Under representedThe problem:Minorities from African-American, Latino and Native American groups are painfully under-represented at most any level you could imagine in STEM and science communication.
  • More details of the Black Women, Hair, Relaxers, and Fibroids + science journalism to Black Audiences here: Black Women, perms and uterine fibroids: A call for authentic science journalism in the Black Media blog post http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/urban-scientist/2012/03/05/black-women-perms-uterine-fibroids-science-journalism-black-media/Under servedThe problemWhen science news does appear in Black Newspapers, Magazines, or radio programs it is not in depth and often re-published versions of news items produced by others.Black Women, Perms and Fibroids. Moreover, media outlets that are founded by and/or designed to target these groups have historically low incidences of science news in general and the ‘deeper levels of science journalisms such as narrative, investigative, and features are so rare I can’t think of an article originated or commissioned by Black Media outlets in the last 10 years.The prevailing problem with science communication in minority media markets is the Negative Narrative. 1. Rejecting Circular reasons for lower science coverage is the first step to getting more science news to Black media consumer.2.  Communicating quality science information to broader audiences may need to come directly from scientists and engineers in the immediate future.3. Cultivating interests in science news will require scientists/engineers and journalists working together to create content and attract readers.
  • the National Science & Technology News Service? This is our growing STEM media contact list of Scientists, Engineers, Doctors, as well as Health, Environment and Science Reporters who are members of or have experience working with diverse groups.  The list is open to any professional who has experience working with minority media outlets. We want to spread the message and support scientific literacy.Contact the headquarters or public information officers of national organizations and ask for list of personals to contact for as sources for a given story.
  • And focus on pitching to the online versions of these organizations.Online publishing is more immediate and often gets pushed out faster and wider than print versions.This is especially good for young/student journalists looking to build their portfolios.There are so many publications available to pitch to.
  • Find ways to partner with minority journalists to co-write or co-produce news items targeted to wider audiences.Share bylines. This cultivates relationships with wider professional network for minority journalists and/or those that work for smaller news organizations that often have few resources to commission original longer/deeper science pieces.Working together you can craft a proper pitch and frame of a science story for diverse audiences.Proactively share science news stories, ledes with journalists at smaller or neighboring outlets. Signal boosts their pieces – science or not – to help raise the profile of those journalists. Old-fashioned networking. Build it before you need it. Establish rapport and trust with new community. THE focus is on social media that can be easily shared and consumed on mobile devices since its been demonstrated that Black & Latino individuals are high adopters of mobile technology and more likely to consume news from these devices. Quick tidbits and links.
  • STEM News among underserved and under-represented audiences

    1. 1. Raising STEM Awareness Among Under-Served and UnderRepresented Audiences Danielle N. Lee, Ph.D. Cornell University Scientific American Blog Network National Science & Technology News Service @DNLee5
    2. 2. Diversify your sources • • • • National Science & Technology News Service CienciaPR (bilingual website) MinorityPostdoc.org Professional Science Societies and Organizations • • • • • • • • • National Society of Black Engineers Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science National Society of Black Physicists Association of Black Psychologists Black Data Processing Associates National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering National Society for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences American Indian Science and Engineering Society National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers Communicating Science: Engaging with Social Media
    3. 3. Pitch wider • National Newspaper Publishing Association • American Urban Radio Networks • Johnson Publishing Company (Ebony/Jet Magazines) • Essence Magazine • Black Enterprise • NewsOne (Cable and Social Media) • Affiliated Affinity News Websites • MSNBC/The Grio • Washington Post/The Root Communicating Science: Engaging with Social Media
    4. 4. Connect to under-served audiences • Professional Journalism Associations • • • • UNITY Journalists for Diversity National Association of Black Journalists National Association of Hispanic Journalists Native American Journalists Association • Teaching and Mentoring at Minority Serving Institutions J Schools • Share and Signal boost • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram Communicating Science: Engaging with Social Media
    5. 5. Take home messages • Perceptions of science are not universal values across all communities • Start simple with your outreach efforts to reach under-served audiences • Diversifying sources will take effort but there are places to start • Make new friends: Build your network of diverse sources, journalists, and places to pitch before you need it Communicating Science: Engaging with Social Media
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