You’re standing at the lectern, ready to deliver the opening lines of your talk. What do you say first?
If this is a conference talk, chances are you start by thanking the organizers for inviting you to speak, then the audience…or if it’s a seminar, you might start with how happy you are to be there…blah blah blah. BORING!
I recently gave a presentation on how to talk science to normal people. After I finished there was the usual question and answer. One of the audience asked me a fairly simple question, which I sadly fumbled. "How do you explain scientific consensus to someone who doesn't agree?" I don't remember the rambling answer I gave at the time, but the question has been stuck with me ever since. I finally came up with what I think is a pretty decent answer and it involves cake.
Communication is very much like marketing, where how you say something depends entirely on who you are talking to. For example, this blog is for casual readers with various types of education and background. I prefer to write content here in a very causal and conversational tone. I'm okay starting a sentence with a conjugation and ending one with a preposition. Grammar rules be damned. That is a conscious style choice that I think works best for my targeted audience.
Well, it is official...we are no longer Science Talk NW.
We Are Science Talk.
Or if you prefer, we are ScienceTalk.org. We don't judge...you can choose how you want to say it.
We thought it would be good to have someplace on this website to discuss and promote opportunities for public engagement, or something similar. Message boards are so 2008, blogs reign supreme....
Let's start the discussion.
Post in the comments any links to online and face to face opportunities to put scicomm skills into practice. Or send us a message about something else you may be curious about and we can start up a different post on that topic.
Help make science communication smarter. Broader. Better.