By Cornelia Dean
What we don’t comprehend can harm us—and does so each day. weather swap, health and wellbeing care coverage, guns of mass destruction, an getting older infrastructure, stem mobilephone examine, endangered species, area exploration—all impact our lives as voters and humans in useful and profound methods. yet until we comprehend the technological know-how in the back of those matters, we won't make moderate decisions—and worse, we're vulnerable to propaganda cloaked in medical rhetoric.
To express the evidence, this e-book 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 wonderful technology editor and reporter, urges scientists to beat their institutional reticence and enable their voices be heard past the discussion board of scholarly booklet. by way of supplying invaluable tricks for bettering their interactions with policymakers, the general public, and her fellow newshounds, Dean goals to alter the perspective of scientists who scorn the mass media as an enviornment the place very important 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? indicates scientists the way to converse 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 would increase the tone and content material of dialogue over serious concerns and should serve the pursuits of technology and society.
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Extra info for Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Public
The decade also saw the creation and growth of science and engineering magazines. But this story does not have a happy ending. Today, most of those newspapers have abandoned their science 38 covering science sections, and the vast majority of those that remain focus on health—that is, “news you can use” about products on drugstore shelves, diets, exercise regimens, and so on. 1 Nine percent work for specialty magazines or newsletters. About 40 percent are freelance writers for a variety of publications, and the rest are public information ofﬁcers for universities, government agencies, private companies, and other organizations, or they are journalism teachers or scholars of journalism.
But when I talk to researchers about coverage of science and technology, which I do often, journalistic incompetence is one of their perennial themes. I heard the message even more forcefully in 2003, when I wrote an essay for the Times on the necessity of having scientists talk to the public. 2 Most of the writers started by praising the essay and said I was making an important point. But they did not stop there. A few offered examples of researchers who talked to reporters about their work only to ﬁnd it wildly hyped in print.
We are all curious. We want to ﬁnd things out, and share the information with others, and we want to do it ﬁrst. We are analytical. 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”).
Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Public by Cornelia Dean