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I will make the case that we often stick to a flawed model of communication when we disseminate the results of physics education research (PER) to teachers. We have a similar problem to those who study climate change or tobacco epidemiology; we have data that we think should effect behavior change (i.e., instruction). Why doesn’t it? While many instructors are aware of the instructional techniques that PER has demonstrated to be effective, research is showing that many instructors may miss the point of these methods, or quit using them after just one semester. Just as climate scientists have needed to become versed in public communication, so do we need to become versed in communication with our audience (physicists). I will outline some of the lessons we can learn from the research and practice of public science communication, and discuss the power and limits of communication in effecting behavior change.
This is a shorter version of an hour talk given at FFPERPS.