Finding the right words: A study of how and why we communicate our science with non-peers
Lesley Knoll and Peter Levi want to know how their fellow ecological scientists share knowledge about science outside peer groups. So Knoll, a director of research and education at Lacawac Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, and Levi, a postdoc at UW-Madison’s Center for Limnology, have created a survey. In this guest post, they explain the genesis of the project and how you can get involved.
Who are scientists communicating their science with and why? How are scientists communicating and are certain scientists more likely to communicate than others? Questions like these kept popping up among newly minted PhD’s at the most recent Ecological Dissertations in the Aquatic Sciences, or better known as Eco-DAS.
During our time at the symposium in Hawaii, we chatted about the patterns of science communication – or lack thereof – among ourselves and our colleagues. A group of us had discussions that extended into the evening and, with the help of Mai Tai’s and the Pacific Ocean, we began to come up with a plan. Though we are all aquatic scientists, our interests span the salty divide between freshwater and saltwater and all of us are interested in science communication. However, some of us were experienced and well-trained in communicating science with non-peer groups, while others learned with no guidance. We wondered how well our experiences reflected that of other scientists. Rather than muse about it endlessly, we decided to create a survey to find out!
And here we are today with a survey and seeking help. Our scientific research project explores science communication patterns, styles, and expectations of ecologists in various positons, including government agencies, non-profits, academia, and industry. Whether you communicate your science with individuals or groups regularly, occasionally, or not at all, we would greatly appreciate 10 minutes of your time to assess how and why we as ecologists engage (or not) with others about science.
To take the survey and for additional information on our research, please click here:
Our study is being conducted through the University of Hawai’i along with the following collaborators: Stacy Baez (Old Dominion University), Lauren Garske (UC-Davis), Jennifer Griffiths (Stockholm University), Emily Henry (Oregon State University), Lesley Knoll (Lacawac Sanctuary), Kevin Rose (UW-Madison), and Adrienne Sponberg (ASLO) with funding support from NSF (OCE08-12838). For more information, please contact one or both of the principal investigators: Drs. Paul Kemp (paulkemp @ hawaii.edu) or Peter Levi (plevi @ wisc.edu).
Our research and recruitment materials were approved by UH-IRB on 07-JUN-2014.