Sunday, February 17, 2013: 10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Ballroom A (Hynes Convention Center)This session will explore Rachel Carson as a scientist-journalist-environmentalist. She made such a difference that we still recognize her name and talk about her 50+ years later because she understood how to have a clear message and how to take that to the public. It was her combination of solid science, journalistic writing, and environmental commitment that made her the public Rachel Carson. We explore each of these aspects of her life and work, and we ask the question, what we can learn from this historical case about the intersection of science, media presentation, and policy today? In particular, how does Carson's career as a scientist turned journalist illuminate the pressing problem of how to combat the dumbing down and contraction of “serious” mainstream media, at least in the area of science journalism? In the context of today's journalism crisis, Carson's life and work take on new meaning. She is an iconic example of the expert who turns to journalism to promote public understanding. Might we distill a lesson from her experience for scientists who might do the same today and in future?
Jane Maienschein, Arizona State University
Gregg Zachary, CSPO/Arizona State University