Download Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist's Guide to Talking to by Cornelia Dean PDF

By Cornelia Dean

What we don’t comprehend can harm us—and does so each day. weather swap, healthiness care coverage, guns of mass destruction, an getting older infrastructure, stem mobile examine, endangered species, area exploration—all have an effect on our lives as electorate and humans in sensible and profound methods. yet until we comprehend the technology in the back of those matters, we can't make average decisions—and worse, we're liable to propaganda cloaked in medical rhetoric.

To show the proof, this e-book indicates, scientists needs to take a extra lively position in making their paintings obtainable to the media, and hence to the general public. In Am I Making Myself Clear? Cornelia Dean, a unique technological know-how editor and reporter, urges scientists to beat their institutional reticence and enable their voices be heard past the discussion board of scholarly book. through providing helpful tricks for making improvements to their interactions with policymakers, the general public, and her fellow reporters, Dean goals to alter the perspective of scientists who scorn the mass media as an area the place very important paintings is simply too usually misrepresented or hyped. much more vital, she seeks to persuade them of the price and urgency of speaking to the general public.

Am I Making Myself Clear? indicates scientists easy methods to communicate to the general public, deal with the media, and describe their paintings to a lay viewers on paper, on-line, and over the airwaves. it's a e-book that may enhance the tone and content material of discussion over severe concerns and may serve the pursuits of technological know-how and society.

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Additional resources for Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Public

Example text

Tat, and loss of biological diversity. They listed hazardous chemicals and pesticides as concerns, but only for the people who worked with them. In a democracy, though, public opinion counts, so problems that offer relatively small risk yet worry more of the public are pursued relentlessly, while genuinely risky issues are often left alone. Presumably, issues like risk perception would be less troublesome if people were better educated about science and technology. But improving education can take us only so far.

We want to find things out, and share the information with others, and we want to do it first. We are analytical. Of every new finding or report we ask, What does this mean? What are its implications? We are critical of our own work and the work of others. And we are highly motivated, persistent, overachieving, independent thinkers who challenge authority, whether the conventional scientific/engineering 42 covering science wisdom or the powers that be (“afflict the comfortable”). But we are a lot different too.

It was difficult for journalists to make this point, given that President Bush was on record as believing that “the verdict is still out” on the question of evolution, and especially given that there have been a few people with respectable credentials and affiliations—if 51 am i making myself clear? not the respect of scientists—speaking out in favor of creationism. ” I eventually worked out the wording that allows me to sum up the situation, I believe accurately: there is no credible scientific challenge to the theory of evolution as an explanation for the complexity and diversity of life on earth.

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