November 22, 2010

How do we show 'science' to the public?

Science, in general...but including wildlife science, is struggling to find a way to communicate important information to the public. Whether the topic is climate change or a state-wide issue, coming off as a 'white lab coat stiff' is not a good way to communicate.

I've spent the better part of my career trying to explain research results of much smarter people (than me) to the public. Or, trying to train my colleagues to communicate better.

Here's a great example of a way to use modern technology (i.e., YouTube) to bring field research onto the public's IPAD. The host is funny, and the general point about monitoring black bears comes through.


  1. Y'know - youtube has some built in benefits as an outreach tool - automatic impact calculation to write into your eARFA.

    More seriously, this reminded me of some recent publications distinguishing between two versions of the science-policy interface. I posted on this before: The first is the "deficit model", where the reason good policy doesn't get formed is a lack of scientific communication to the public. The second is the "public engagement model", where good policy requires a dialogue about the information and the values. Social science seems pretty sold on the need for public engagement. Unfortunately alot of scientific societies are still working on filling deficits (TWS included).

  2. So glad to see you blogging again!