Wednesday, August 8, 2007: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
C3&4, San Jose McEnery Convention Center
SS 29 - Do scientists sound like a flock of dodos? Science communication without jargon
This special session focuses on science communication, as scientists struggle to be heard (and understood) by the public and the media in our global world. Debates about issues for which there is relative scientific consensus (e.g., evidence for global warming, evolution versus intelligent design) illustrate difficulties the general public (and often, policy makers) have in determining what "is" science, and whether evidence supporting different views is objective and unbiased. The session includes two parts: 1) a film screening (Randy Olson’s “Flock of Dodos”, 84 minutes) that demonstrates the difficulty many scientists have in communicating "science" without jargon; followed by 2) an "experimental" panel session. The panel will include a multitude of voices, with well prepared one minute responses to the film, in other words, "Speed Responding." Panelists will be sent a DVD copy of the movie to view prior to the San Jose meeting, and given detailed directions to assist in the preparation of their statement. The panel will include a diversity of opinions, including representatives of communication, science, government (i.e. school boards), and religion. If you are interested in being a panelist, please contact Carolyn Lundquist ( by March 30, 2007, and include 2-3 sentences (maximum) describing what "opinions" you represent so that we can select a diverse panel. The session will give a tremendous demonstration of the case in point: we, as ecologists, need to improve our ability to relate our science to the general public in order to influence policy, management, and general thinking about ecological issues and the natural world on which we depend.
Organizer:Carolyn J. Lundquist, National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research Ltd.
Co-organizer:Elise F. Granek, Portland State University
Speakers:Randy Olson, Filmmaker, "Flock of Dodos"
Margaret Lowman, New College of Florida

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See more of The ESA/SER Joint Meeting (August 5 -- August 10, 2007)