The Beauty and Benefits of Escaping the Ivory Tower

Saturday, February 16, 2013: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Room 308 (Hynes Convention Center)
There are many unresolved policy problems in society, such as high unemployment and economic competitiveness, oil and gas versus alternative energy, proper stances against nuclear proliferation, public health issues, climate change, and the loss of biodiversity, all of which increasingly revolve around science. And yet, less than two percent of Congress has any professional background in science. America remains inactive about the ramifications of critical societal challenges such as climate change, environmental hazards, and living sustainably. Environmental issues are local no more, and solutions cannot remain provincial. Scientists must become envoys of knowledge that is global: laws of physics, functioning of the atmosphere, and the cadence of waxing and waning of biodiversity. Indeed, science is now part of an unavoidable and contentious public discussion on these issues, and we need it to catalyze solutions. Increasingly, scientists who are communicators are moving into positions of leadership, engaging with society, and changing their academic institutions from within. The speakers, all early- to mid-career scientists and fellows of the Leopold Leadership Program run by Stanford University, will present research and case stories of effective communication of science to policy-makers and the public, including specific lessons learned and suggested paths forward to positively change academic culture. A special focus is on early-career scientists and graduate students.
Dawn J. Wright, Environmental Systems Research Institute
Elizabeth Hadly, Stanford University
Dawn J. Wright, Environmental Systems Research Institute
Nancy Baron, Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS)
and Elizabeth Neeley, COMPASS
Dawn J. Wright, Environmental Systems Research Institute
"Story Mapping" the Geographical and Knowledge Networks of Science
Leah Gerber, Arizona State University
Overcoming Institutional Barriers to Science Communication
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