By Cornelia Dean
What we don’t recognize can harm us—and does so on a daily basis. weather switch, future health care coverage, guns of mass destruction, an getting older infrastructure, stem telephone learn, endangered species, area exploration—all impact our lives as voters and people in functional and profound methods. yet except we comprehend the technology in the back of those concerns, we can't make average decisions—and worse, we're vulnerable to propaganda cloaked in clinical 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 unusual technology editor and reporter, urges scientists to beat their institutional reticence and enable their voices be heard past the discussion board of scholarly book. through supplying valuable 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 very important, she seeks to persuade them of the worth and urgency of speaking to the general public.
Am I Making Myself Clear? indicates scientists how one can 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 would increase 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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Extra resources for Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Public
In 1990, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) surveyed its scientists and members of the public on environmental risks, the survey found members of the public were most worried about oil spills, hazardous waste, and releases of radioactive materials. EPA scientists put those concerns at the bottom of their list, as their effects are relatively limited and short-lived. Their hit parade: global warming, destruction of the ozone layer, destruction of habi- 21 am i making myself clear? tat, and loss of biological diversity.
When she asks them what irks them about the news media, some responses emerge again and again: Journalists oversell their stories. News reports do not offer information in enough depth to help readers or viewers form opinions. Journalists don’t see what the important point is and 41 am i making myself clear? emphasize side issues that may be more engaging (sexier) but are off point. Journalists do not understand and therefore cannot accurately explain nonlinear/probabilistic aspects of research.
And when science and engineering are covered, often the journalist on the job is someone with little technical background. That is a problem. Even at the New York Times, where some of us (unlike me) trained in technical subjects, we struggle to differentiate the genuinely important discovery from the ﬂash-in-the-pan ﬁnding, or to discern which researchers 39 am i making myself clear? have the support of their colleagues and which are regarded as outliers. And we are a large and (relatively) lavishly supported science news staff.
Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Public by Cornelia Dean