This Week’s Reads: Communicating about Science

Happy Holidays, all! I apologize for my few months of silence, and my excuses include learning a new role at the New England Museum Association, where I am the new Director of Engagement, running an annual conference, and being out of the country on my honeymoon (reflections on traveling in Japan and lessons I gained there for American museums to come!).

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However, I’m back with a set of interesting reads regarding how better to communicate about science topics with self-identified “non-scientists.”  The Discovery Museums in Acton, which was one of the places that gave me my start in the museum field, has a fabulous fellowship program for scientists and engineers, so when I see examples of great science communication I get warm fuzzy feelings all over.

Here are some cool reads about communication, science, and scientists speaking up:

“Talking Evolution: The challenge of influenza” – What does “flu season” mean to you? How much do you know about why you’re supposed to get a new flu shot every winter, and why does it sometimes seem not to work? This is the first post of two talking about the flu, how and why we get sick, the historical context of the 1918 flu epidemic, and how viruses mutate, from the always awesome National Geographic Education blog.

“A massive global study finds girls are comprehensively better than boys at solving problems together” – A fascinating summary of a test that looks at lots and lots of factors to student success and skill building, and which shows the importance of social skills (communication!) in effective problem solving (a key part of science & engineering).

“Helping students communicate science beyond the classroom “- Sounds like an awesome class that other colleges should be using as a model.  And then collaborating with their local museums to provide their students with public speaking experience!

“Why are paleontologists suing the Trump administration?” – Politics + dinosaurs (and a bunch of other really interesting info on national monuments!).  Also an amazing breakdown from the folks at National Geographic Education.

“The Illustrated History of How Sugar Conquered the World” – History and science and social history and medicine and world domination and I’m baking Christmas cookies this weekend anyway.

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