Paper No. 14
Presentation Time: 11:15 AM
TACKLING SCIENCE COMMUNICATION: AN EXPERIMENTAL CLASSROOM APPROACH USING MULTI-MEDIA TO INCREASE UNDERGRADUATE SCIENCE COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Increasingly, scientists are charged with taking greater responsibility for the communication of their results to broader audiences. Major professional societies across the sciences, including the Geological Society of America, support initiatives that work toward developing scientists' communication skills through dedicated leadership programs, as well as fellowships that embed scientists in government and media outlets, for example. Meanwhile, many colleges and universities are institutionalizing interdisciplinarity as a fundamental component of their vision statements and committing to this idea through their curricula. An innovative approach to combat scientific illiteracy among the non-scientific public and promote science communication is an experimental, modular-based seminar in Environmental Science (ES) at Allegheny College, PA. In the spring semester of 2011, ten students in the ES junior seminar will learn the basics of web communication tools (web-page design, blogging), video production (primarily using the freeware program JayCut), radio, and non-scientific science writing, to develop their science communication skills. During the course, students will work closely with experts in these fields through campus collaborations, field trips, and videoconferencing with journalists and media professionals around the globe. Course work will include ongoing projects that utilize these practical skills and leverage existing college resources, including the campus newspaper, radio station, and TV station. In addition, students will be challenged to consider and incorporate communication formats that encourage two-way science dialogue.