The Intersection


I spent about 24 straight hours traveling yesterday, crossing the Pacific and such–so I’ve been a bit out of it. But what do I come back to?

Fellow Sciencebloggers John Wilkins and Tim Lambert have both done posts–with lotsa cool pics–about our recent adventures, intellectual as well as alcoholic, in Sydney. Go check them both out. I stole one picture for this post but there are lots more.

Meanwhile while traveling I also had an article come out on framing and science communication in the Sydney Morning Herald. It’s a written summary of much of what I’d been saying publicly during my various Australian talks.

All in all, in terms of my photographic and paper trail, I feel like I made some small mark in OZ. And now, it’s back to the grind….


  1. #1 P.M. Bryant
    April 27, 2007

    Why this relentless push for “framing” science? Many scientists have already been doing this–presenting science to the general public in fun and interesting ways–for years, decades, even generations. And a number have been doing so quite well. This is nothing new.

    Scientists have consistently been one of the most respected professions in the country. How did they get into that position? Certainly not by being poor at public communication as a whole.

    Countering the forces that have huge amounts of money available to confuse the public will require the work of far more than just scientists, who, while influential due to their respected position in society, are small in number. That is a job for the rest of us. You used to be a big part of that yourself.

  2. #2 kate
    April 27, 2007

    PM, they’re not relentlessly pushing, they’re framing their argument for different audiences. which is what any scholarly communications expert and good science-friendly journalist would do. and it’s also what they’re encouraging of us scientists. of course, it’s a two-way street. you’re absolutely correct that no small population can single-handedly rock the boat of a very well-established and entrenched media, but anyone seeking productive and engaging media contact – including scientists – are necessarily forced to work somewhat within the confines of our current media. and as we scientists are the best ones to staunchly defending the scientific integrity of our own work, we should start participating more actively in this process. but yes, it definitely requires the help of the public as well.

    chris, for the record, your sydney piece is the most solid, well-argued, and translatable framing argument you guys have produced. something finally clicked for me, and i think it can be attributed to how the piece was presented. well done.

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