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The Basics of Science Communication - in a formula


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I was invited to speak about science communication at a meeting of chemists, in Lion (France). Having short time to present such a huge field, I decided to condense it in a three elements formula (there is one element, you will notice, it has been introduced for the first time). This presentation has been changed (more text) hoping that it will be self-explaining. Glad if you download and thankful if you send me a notice!

Published in: Education, Technology

The Basics of Science Communication - in a formula

  1. 1. Science Communication in a formula O4Fb3S4
  2. 2. The first element is for Obstacles
  3. 3. What people think of scientists What people know about science What scientists think about the public What language scientists use The 4 Obstacles  to Science Communication
  4. 4. Obstacle #1 The Draw‐a‐Scientist Test unveils a not too positive stereotype of  scientist
  5. 5. Eccentric Bordering with  madness Evil intent Middle‐up class Masculine Socially inept Caucasian
  6. 6. Scientist is either a monster or a hero. The stereotype of scientist has to change. Scientists are professionals, normal people doing their job
  7. 7. Obstacle #2 The general level of scientific literacy is quite low. Look at the sort of questions specialists have chosen to get a sense of scientific literacy…
  8. 8. about-science-27747364/?no-ist=
  9. 9. Electrons smaller than atoms: this is true for 47% of the respondents in a Nature published study (1989) Laser formed by sound waves: false for 48% Continents drift: true for 77% All radioactivity is human made: false for 66% 17% refer to theory and experimentation
  10. 10. Obstacle #3 Scientists too represent an Obstacle To science communication
  11. 11. Scientists worry: public communication may badly affect career Scientists feel unable to communicate 3/4 scientists regard a lack of public knowledge,  education or interest in science as a barrier  1/3 scientists see the media as a barrier, not a  mean to reach out Few scientists participated to communication activities (public talks, speaking to media, open days, writing) Scientists fear speaking as death and void Scientists do not feel free to talk (pressures from leaders)
  12. 12. Obstacle #4 The language of science is obscure scientific concepts are obscure To the public
  13. 13. Public finds  scientific debate, uncertainty, risk  confusing
  14. 14. Risk statistically contructed R = H x V Vs. socially contructed
  15. 15. What people think of scientists What people know about science What scientists think about the public Questions about language The 4 Obstacles  to Science Communication
  16. 16. The second element is for Facebook
  17. 17. Facebook has three good rules for public engagement. See them as a metaphore for science communication
  18. 18. Fb 1‐ communication: people] 2‐ knowledge, 3‐ invite   objects, offering on engagement: Post video and pictures [in science   show people objects,  Ask questions [challenge their   their beliefs, challenge them] Make offers [in science communication:   them, visit them, prepare take home  let them understand you are   something special]
  19. 19. The third element is for Speak
  20. 20. I generally refer to speak as  speak out, reach out. Here, I focus on  the act of speaking
  21. 21. My 4 Tips for Speaking out
  22. 22. Be Inspired Watch other speakers and analyse their speach. What was strong in  their delivery? What was weak or unconvincing? What could you try on yourself?
  23. 23. Be Respectful Of your audience
  24. 24. Respect time ‐ Be short Adults – some 30 minutes Kids – some 15 minutes
  25. 25. Be physical
  26. 26. Eyeballing Move Voice Stance
  27. 27. Be Organized Prepare an outline
  28. 28. Beginning Clarity Body Informative Interesting End Shortness
  29. 29. The safe way: Stand up Tell them what you are going to tell Tell them Tell them what you have told Sit down
  30. 30. Design the right pitch You may Tell a story Go personal Make a question „Rise a hand who…“ A dramatic data/statistic …summarize the talk
  31. 31. We retain 25% of a speech…I suggest that you Repeat Repeat Repeat …your key messages
  32. 32. This is not a conclusion This is a bankrupt
  33. 33. Science Communication in a formula O4Fb3S4 Slides of a speach given at Dynamol meeting in Lion (2014) …slightly changed for slide share hoping that they will be self explaining Jacopo Pasotti Website Follow me @medjaco