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Academics Seek a Big Splash

Each July, many of the top economists in the world gather in Cambridge, Mass., at a conference hosted by the National Bureau of Economic Research. While the work they present comes in all shapes and sizes, from the highly technical to the trendy and provocative, the coveted first day of a key weeklong session is given over to research that will make a media splash. “I choose the papers,” said…

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A Successor to Sagan Reboots ‘Cosmos’

A poignant moment occurs near the end of the first episode of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” a rollicking 13-part tour of the universe to be broadcast on Fox starting on Sunday. Sitting on a rock by the Pacific, Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of the show and director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, pulls out an old desk calendar that had belonged to Carl Sagan, the Cornell astronomer…

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COMPASS: Navigating the Rules of Scientific Engagement

In an era of heightened competition for scarce research positions and funding, the mantra of modern academia—“publish or perish”—continues to intensify [1]. Scientists are under increasing pressure to produce as many publications as possible in “high-impact” journals to raise their profile among peers and influence their discipline. Yet, in recent years, another measure of significance also has been on the rise—one that focuses on a scientist’s reach beyond their field…

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NAS Conference: The Science of Science Communication

The National Academy of Sciences invites you to attend a colloquium on The Science of Science Communication. Event Dates: May 21, 2012 to May 22, 2012 Location: Washington, DC, United States Website: http://www.nasonline.org/programs/sackler-colloquia/upcoming-colloquia/science-communication.html Anyone who has followed the public dialogue on such topics as evolution, stem cell research, or climate change knows how daunting effective science communication can be. Discussions over science are often freighted with cultural, political, and moral…

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American Geophysical Union 2013 Conference: Communicating climate change

The goal of this Chapman Conference is to bring together scholars, social scientists, and journalists to discuss both the history and recent advances in the understanding of climate science and how to communicate that science to policymakers, the media, and society. A research agenda of the conference will focus on the efficacy of scientific communication, with ideas on improved practices arising as an outcome from collaborations spawned at the conference.…

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Science Communications 2013

Communicating science — whether in text, television, the web, or in person — is an intensive pursuit, preoccupied with explanation. Sometimes the attention that must be paid to those qualities can stifle the passion which most of us bring to the subject. Our aim at Banff is to allow participants to take a step back from their daily pursuits, and open themselves to different ways of expressing that passion and…

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Is there pressure to publicize?

Even in today’s world of ubiquitous communication tools, it’s rare for research scientists to communicate their work directly to the public. Newspapers and other media outlets are our unofficial science translators, sifting through studies and jargon to present readable summaries of selected science news to the public. There are two problems with this disconnected approach. The first is that the media often tends to inflate the relevance of science stories…

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Making science reporting more fair & balanced

The following guidelines, drawn up in consultation with scientists, science reporters, editors and subeditors, are intended for use by newsrooms to ensure that the reporting of science and health stories is balanced and accurate. They are not intended as a prescriptive checklist and of course shorter articles or NIBs [“news in brief” items] will not be able to cover every point. Above and beyond specific guidelines, familiarity with the technicalities…

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