The Loom

If you’re a scientist mysteried by the media, AAAS has set up a nice site to help. Included are a series of interviews with members of that dubious profession, including Science Friday’s Ira Flatow talking about radio, and the New York Times’s environment writer Andrew Revkin on newspaper reporting. I talk> about life as a multitasking freelancer, and how blog posts and books are and are not the same.

Comments

  1. #1 Ron
    March 13, 2008

    I cringed when I saw the question about “dumbing down” the science. Your answer is very good. We need to remove “dumbing down” and replace it with “elegant explanations.”

  2. #2 Patrick
    March 13, 2008

    Thanks for the links. I was recently offered work as a science writer for the local college paper and really looking for tips and advice on refining my scientific background into something usable for communication with the public.

  3. #3 Dave Briggs
    March 13, 2008

    I cringed when I saw the question about “dumbing down” the science. Your answer is very good. We need to remove “dumbing down” and replace it with “elegant explanations.”

    Posted by: Ron | March 13, 2008 10:51 AM

    Sounds like the epitome of elegant solutions! LOL!
    Dave Briggs :~)

  4. #4 Andy
    March 13, 2008

    A very nice site that I will be including next time I give a media training class…I’m glad they’re backing up all the advice we give scientists about communications.

  5. #5 David B. Benson
    March 13, 2008

    Elegant explanations sounds wonderful. But do not forget that it is the truth, no matter how complex, that is being explained.

    Not that that is likely to occur on this site…

  6. #6 Ron
    March 13, 2008

    I don’t see how doing a good job explaining something precludes being accurate in explaining nature (assuming that’s what you mean by explaining the truth). It’s actually damn hard to take a topic you discuss with your labmates all the time and turn around and explain it to an audience with a different background. It is also damn hard to understand what the science is, why it is exciting, and translate that to the audience. Carl excels at that feat. If you read the answers to the “dumbing down” question by Carl, Andrew, and Ira, each does a reasonable job in answering the question. However, Carl and Andrew make a point of indicating that they aren’t dumbing down anything. Ira’s response may be the difference between a radio host (who has the scientists participating in the conversation) versus print reporters.

  7. #7 Philip Downey
    March 19, 2008

    Found this recently at my alma mater. I thought it was very good.

    http://qnc.queensu.ca/dhtml/mediatips.php

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