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Speaking Science to the Public

March 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Resources, Writing

A while back, I was asked about the type of guidance that I would provide someone who wanted to communicate to the public via their National Hydrometeorological Service’s Web page. The book I most highly recommend is “Don’t Be Such a Scientist”. The author definitely has an American way of writing, so nonnative American English […]

“Blogging is quite simply, one of the most important things that an academic should be doing right now.”

February 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured

Here are some prime quotes from an interview with Patrick Dunleavy and Chris Gilson of the London School of Economics Public Policy Group about why scientists are obliged to communicate with those who live in the real world (not academics). But in addition, social scientists have an obligation to society to contribute their observations to […]

Teller on Communicating Science

February 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

No, not Edward Teller, but Teller of the magic act Penn and Teller. The Smithsonian magazine’s March 2012 issue has an article written by Teller, available online. In the article, Teller explains seven principles for how magicians convince the audience of the trick. After reading them, I think many could be equally applied to convincing […]

Plain English Campaign gets it wrong

January 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Writing

In almost all cases, I support the Plain English Campaign, who aim to improve the readability of government documents, corporate letters, web sites, and other forms of communication. In their 2011 Golden Bull Awards, however, the Plain English Campaign got it dead wrong. The UK Met Office won an award for ‘empowering people to make […]

Monkey See, Monkey Do

December 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Presentations

In writing my book and questioning the “standard” approach that people have used to give scientific presentations, I have often wondered if people stick to convention because that’s all they’ve seen. They see an outline slide or a meaningless “thank you!” slide and think, “Yeah, that’s the way to do it right.” The question is […]

English Communication for Scientists

The journal Nature has on its Scitable page a link to an online book English Communication for Scientists by Dr. Jean-luc Doumont (that’s him on the right). I haven’t read through it all, but it seems to have mostly good advice, albeit a bit short. The online book has six units: Communicating as a Scientist […]

Judging a book by its cover

September 16, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, News, Potpourri

I was pleased to see that Eloquent Science was one of six books selected for review by CAPjournal (CAP=Communicating Astronomy with the Public) as part of an article entitled “Reading about Science Communication.” The review, however, was a mixed bag. Following up from a communication workshop organised by the American Meteorological Society, this book is […]

Positive and negative feedback in science: Scientists as social animals

At a recent meeting at the University of Manchester, the keynote speaker was Prof. Helen Gleeson OBE. She gave an informative and interesting history of her career and the lessons she has learned. One thing she said resonated with me (paraphrasing): “As a scientist, you get lots of rejections, but not a lot of supportive […]

The need for communication skills in the meteorological private sector

April 30, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri

In 1995, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) conducted a survey of the private sector members of the AMS. The results, published in the Bulletin of the AMS, substantiate the importance of teaching communication skills in colleges and universities. The top three jobs performed by the professional meteorologists were broadcasting, general consulting, and weather information/communications. The […]

The Importance of Good Communication – Dr. Jane Lubchenco, NOAA Administrator

March 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog, Featured, Potpourri

You’ve probably heard me say how much I value communications, both for the advancement of science and the good of our society. Good communication, at the most basic level, can unify us. It strengthens our democracy and creates an environment of transparency and trust. Good communication is essential for science. By translating complex science into […]

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