[ASC-list] ScienceOnline Adelaide Watch Party: registration now open

Sarah Keenihan sarahkeenihan at gmail.com
Sun Feb 23 11:07:55 UTC 2014

Hello ASCers,

Registration for the FREE March 4 ScienceOnline Together 2014 WatchParty is now open: see here. 

Please feel welcome to join us for 1, 2 or all of the 3 sessions (detailed below). Each session will feature a streamed 1 hour presentation followed by 30 minutes breakout discussion with fellow attendees. It is a casual, fun event :-) 

For more background, see here. 

Hope to see you on the day! 


Sarah Keenihan, Heather Bray and Kristin Alford

Session 1 – Words (11.30am-1pm)

Critical Science Writing: Helping readers become critical thinkers of science (Moderated by Melinda Wenner Moyer)

Science writers must walk a careful line. On the one hand, we play the role of science cheerleader, as we know science is one of the best tools available for answering difficult and important questions. On the other hand, the scientific method is not perfect. Not only do we do our readers a disservice if we share news about scientific findings without explaining possible caveats and limitations, but we also undermine their trust in us. This session will explore how science writers can write about science honestly, sharing both its strengths and its weaknesses with audiences in a way that keeps them engaged, builds their confidence in us and helps them understand science more deeply. 

Session 2 – Numbers (2pm-3.30pm)

Data-Based Communication: Insights from Science Communication Research (Q&A with Liz Neely)

If we agree that science communication is essential for helping people make the best possible decisions, and we genuinely believe that the consequences of failing are severe – illness, death, catastrophe – then we must look to every available source of expertise that can improve our communication work. This is particularly urgent given how easily and inadvertently well-intentioned efforts can harden opinions, reinforce misperceptions, and deepen existing divides. That means looking not only to the work of storytellers, artists, and journalists, but also to the researchers who study communication. As a group, we’ve been skeptical: dense texts, terrible presentations, and questionable findings make us question the legitimacy of these ideas, or at least the return on investing in them. This Q&A session will focus on plain talk about what we really know, why paying attention to this research matters, and how we might apply it.

Session 3 – Pictures (4pm-5.30pm)

Is your art (or lack thereof) sabotaging your written message? (Moderated byTara Haelle)

Science wordsmiths may forget that the power of an image can exceed the power of the sword and the word. The images written communicators use – or don’t use – send messages of their own, perhaps not the ones we intend. In fact, the image (or lack thereof) can sabotage the message or, at best, decrease the likelihood that others will even pay attention to it. Is a mediocre image/illustration/photo better than a poorly chosen image? Is no image better than a mediocre image? What characteristics determine whether an image undermines or underscores our message? Whether you’re an experienced image communicator, a novice, or you’ve never given it much thought, let’s talk about finding, using or making images that enhance our message.

Sarah Keenihan
PhD | BMedSci | GradDipSciComm

Freelance science writing and editing

mobile | 0419 976 834 
twitter | @sciencesarah
website | http://sciencesarah.wordpress.com/
blog | http://scienceforlife365.wordpress.com/ 

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