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2015 Annual Meeting

Communicating science vividly_workshop banner_v1


20140513_Bethann sketching (2)_c_cr

Bethann G. Merkle: sketching for scientists


Clarisse Hart: compelling writing


Molly Mehling: engaging through photography

Workshop Description:

Summary: Experienced science communicators will lead visual communication and writing activities to help participants build skills in conveying complex scientific concepts to broad audiences through storytelling and other creative narrative pathways.

Details: The ability to communicate ecological concepts meaningfully to a broad audience is emerging as a vital component of the modern ecologist’s toolkit.

In this workshop, ‘boundary-spanning’ science communicators with expertise in visual communication and creative nonfiction writing will guide participants through a variety of hands-on exercises to build their skills in conveying ecological concepts to broad audiences. Activities will include visual design and composition, drawing, photography best practices, systems mapping, color theory, messaging, and scene/character development.  By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to identify a clear storyline through their own scientific work. Aimed at a specified target audience, this storyline and accompanying visuals will enable participants to share their work in a comprehensible and compelling way.

Although the majority of the workshop will feature hands-on activities, short presentation topics will include the historical link between scientific inquiry and visual communication, and case studies of visual and written communication that have led to increased learning and broad impact across a range of audiences. A key focus will be how vivid science storytelling can build empathy and interest, respectfully motivating measurable behavioral changes in a scientist’s target audience(s).

The workshop is intended for scientists and educators of all experience levels. Evaluation at the outset and end of the workshop will contribute to analysis of science communication training strategies.

Minimum Number of Participants: 8Maximum Number of Participants: 30

See ESA2015 conference website to register or view workshop description via conference online program.