A rubric for science communication courses

In the face of systematic public misinformation campaigns against science,  scientific institutions are fighting back by establishing science communication courses and workshops for scientists.  In addition, science enthusiasts, like Alan Alda, have established non profit organizations to help scientists learn the art of communication with a non-expert audience. Science advocacy organizations such as the American Association for Advancement of Science have established a dedicated resource to help scientists with public outreach and engagement with policy makers.  Many scientists have also gone rogue by taking advantage of blogging, podcasting and social media to learn the ropes of public outreach on their own, and some have been very successful in building a large engaged audience.

Science Communication Courses could use a good rubric

Read more

The world heard scientists on Twitter, but were they understood?

Last week scientists on Twitter answered the call from one of their peers, an Alabama ecologist named David Steen, and introduced themselves to Twitterverse using the hashtag #actuallivingscientist. It was a delightful sight to see for a science enthusiast like me. The hashtag ended up trending, earned it’s own Moment on Twitter, and inspired passionate responses by non-scientist Twitter users. This Twitter campaign also became the subject of many articles, like this and this, helping to expand the reach of this online real-scientist campaign well outside of Twitter.  Later social scientists joined this effort using the hashtag #actualsocialscientist.

Scientists on Twitter must be heard and understood
Cartoon made on ToonDoo

Read more

Lessons learned from teaching global warming facts

I teach biology at a local community college, and every semester discussions about global warming facts are part of the curriculum.  This year, I decided to supplement my teaching with screening the documentary Before the Flood in the classroom.   I then gave the students an assignment asking them to answer this question:

What did you learn from watching Before the Flood, and state what you will do differently as  a result of what you learned

Here is what I learned from my small classroom experiment about the level of awareness on global warming facts among college students:

Student attitudes about Global Warming facts

Read more

A book on global warming solutions

Every book has a story, and I would like to share the story of why and how I wrote a book about global warming solutions.  My goal for this post is to explain my journey of writing Social Solutions for Climate Change, and the take home lessons for anyone wanting to self-publish a book.

Imag of Twitter post featuring Sherry Nouraini
UCSD Library features Sherry Nouraini on Indie Author Day.

Read more