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

By Cornelia Dean

What we don’t be aware of can damage us—and does so each day. weather switch, health and wellbeing care coverage, guns of mass destruction, an getting older infrastructure, stem cellphone examine, endangered species, area exploration—all have an effect on our lives as electorate and humans in sensible and profound methods. yet except we comprehend the technological know-how in the back of those concerns, we can't make moderate decisions—and worse, we're liable to propaganda cloaked in clinical rhetoric.

To express the evidence, this ebook indicates, scientists needs to take a extra energetic position in making their paintings obtainable to the media, and hence to the general public. In Am I Making Myself Clear? Cornelia Dean, a individual technological know-how editor and reporter, urges scientists to beat their institutional reticence and allow their voices be heard past the discussion board of scholarly book. through supplying necessary tricks for bettering their interactions with policymakers, the general public, and her fellow reporters, Dean goals to alter the angle of scientists who scorn the mass media as an area the place vital paintings is just too frequently 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? exhibits scientists how you 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 may enhance the tone and content material of dialogue over severe concerns and should serve the pursuits of technology and society.

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

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Laurence, a science writer for the New York Times, was seconded to the Manhattan Project and actually rode on one of the chase planes for the bombing of Nagasaki. Even as he covered the beginning of the atomic age for the Times, Laurence continued writing press releases for the government and its atomic scientists. S. government. This kind of relationship between a newspaper reporter and a government agency would be unacceptable today (though some people draw uncomfortable parallels with the reporters embedded with military forces in the war in Iraq).

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. In spite of what many researchers think, science journalists are not advocates for research. At one time, perhaps, we were.

20 know your audience For example, we are more likely to be afraid of things we cannot control or cannot see, and things whose forces are artificial, unfamiliar, or new. It is factors like these that make us, overall, more afraid of flying than driving, even though driving is far more dangerous, or more afraid of pesticide residues on our fruits and vegetables than the health risks of not eating lots of fruits and vegetables. When mad cow disease emerged in France, some commentators pointed sourly to people voicing alarm about the threat even as they puffed away on their Gauloise cigarettes.

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