Thursday, May 01, 2008

two views into our recent workshop

You don't need a microscope to get a virtual look into what goes on in my workshop trainings. Check out these two recent articles about the "Communicating Science: Tools for Scientists and Engineers" workshops in San Jose, Calif., and Raleigh, N.C., that I facilitate. See perspectives from both workshops in this recent article in the journal Science (scroll down to the workshop coverage) and extensive coverage of the Raleigh workshop in Environmental Factor, the newsletter of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which sent several scientists to the workshop. The newsletter captured our exercises in message development this way:
Attendees practiced crafting a concise three-part message to convey the bottom-line significance for the audience and details that support the value of their research. According to Graveline, mastering the approach can be especially challenging for scientists. It reverses the order of their usual communications in papers and presentations and forces them to be selective in ways they don’t have to be when talking with colleagues about their research.
That communications challenge was met by many of our participants, one of whom reflected it in saying it was useful to learn "how counter-intuitive some of this is" as well as learning "we can do it." The workshops are part of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's efforts to help scientists engage with public audiences, and are funded by the National Science Foundation and AAAS. Let us know about your workshop training needs by emailing me at

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