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Center for Environmental Filmmaking, American University
Director/Producer Larry Kirkman, firstname.lastname@example.org, larrykirkman.com
Editor/Producer Shannon Shikles, email@example.com, shannonshikles.com
“Clear and simple is not enough,” argues Rush Holt in my new video, SciComm: Raising Our Voice for Science in Public Policy. “It has to be meaningful,” he says. “It has to communicate the science in a way that people feel they can take it in, not just understand it but embrace it and care about it, in other words believe that it is relevant…What scientists should be doing is not just simplifying their research, but rather enabling everybody else to think like a scientist, to think on the basis of evidence.”
I’m new to Science Talk and I’m hoping this 12-minute video, which you’re free to use and share, is a starting point for exploring mutual interests and potential collaborations. The video is a project of the Science Communication Lab in the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University.
In the March for Science, I found an intensity, an urgency, and a desire to communicate the fundamental importance of science to all aspects of our lives. We asked scientists why they are demonstrating and how they define the challenges of science communication practice, training and strategy.
Chants of “this is what a scientist looks like” animated the 2018 March for Science and frame the discussion of diversity and representation in the video. Sonia Zárate makes the case that people will listen if they are engaged by scientists who look like them. She says: “Science for the public good is about making sure that all voices are included in science. It belongs to all of us.”
Lynn Scarlett sums up: “This is about the well-being of all of us, it’s not about about political divides, or particular policy solutions even. Science lies at the root of human progress.”
How is this video useful? What audiences, platforms, networks? What is your advice for my next video(s)?
I want to go beyond profiles and interviews, to document communication best practices, to capture dialogue, one-on-one and in small groups, to show how scientists and science advocates learn to be more effective communicators and listen to them reflect on their experiences in public education and advocacy.
I want to tap into the latest science communication research revealing new ways to engage, inform and persuade the public. Where is the science of science communication being applied?
I want to put this work in historical perspective, from Rachel Carson's Silent Spring through tobacco and climate, using archival material and interviews with scholars, journalists and science communication strategists.
I’m looking forward to Science Talk ’20 in Portland. Let’s talk.
Larry Kirkman is director of the Science Communication Lab in the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, professor emeritus, Film and Media Arts, and dean emeritus in the School of Communication at American University. His work in media for public knowledge and action includes television documentaries, social advertising campaigns, online journalism projects, and strategic communications and issue advocacy for nonprofit organizations. Learn more at larrykirkman.com.
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