ICRA 2019- Lunch and Learn Keynote
Lunch and Learn Keynote
Tuesday, 21 May from 12:00-13:30
Room 519 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
“Case Studies in Effective Science and Technology Communication”
Starting with a few brief but notable cases of science communication failures, we will work towards some key challenges for communicating effectively with the public. Through these failures, we examine some of the assumptions about the non-expert audience implied by the Deficit Model – a prominent but outdated and problematic model of scientific communication. Specifically, we interrogate the idea that the “public” is homogenous, with similar goals, background knowledge, and purposes for learning about technology. Acknowledging this, we introduce the idea of “Framing Science,” a concept that came to prominence in a 2007 Scienceeditorial by Chris Mooney and Matthew Nisbet. They argue that in order to communicate effectively with the public, scientists and researchers need to do more than learn techniques for “dumbing-down” or “translating" their research while maintaining accuracy: they need to find ways to make complex topics more personally relevant. Without these connections, nonexpert audiences will not be compelled to learn about and understand technical information.
Returning to these case studies, we lay out key strategies for:
(1) understanding an audience’s needs and background;
(2) finding relevant approaches to engage non-experts; and finally,
(3) deploying the right rhetorical techniques (eg. narrative, metaphor, etc.) to communicate within that framework.
We will close by demonstrating how these techniques parallel those used by science journalists, and invite the audience to our workshops, where we’ll help them craft key messages about their own work.onference timelines, Bank Accounts, Budgets, Whether to hire a meeting planner, Conference Closings, Hotel Contracts, Insurance, Tax Issues— organizing a conference can be a daunting task, especially a large