WEBINAR: Tell a Compelling Story: Combining Killer Graphics and Good Narrative for Effective Science Communication
September 15 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Coastal & Estuarine Research Federation’s Summer 2017 Quarterly Webinar
Tell a Compelling Story: Combining Killer Graphics and Good Narrative for Effective Science Communication
Friday, 15 September 2017
1-2 PM (EDT)
The role of science in society is rapidly evolving. In many ways, science is becoming more politicized, with scientific results being viewed as fodder in contentious societal debates. This can result in scientists becoming more circumspect in their communication to broader audiences. But good science, communicated effectively, is needed now more than ever for solving, not just studying, the crucial environmental issues facing society. Therefore, every scientist must develop an effective communication skill set that includes the ability to craft compelling narrative and graphics, while maintaining scientific rigor. Developing a narrative (story), rather than simply conveying information, is crucial to being effective communicators. Developing killer graphics that showcase data in innovative ways can be effective for publication in scientific journals. Well designed graphics can also transcend the scientific audience to reach broader audiences. Combining graphics and narratives is what constitutes a compelling scientific story. A scientific story maintains scientific rigor and is based on established facts, but it becomes compelling with the graphics and narrative. Visualizations and story are ingrained in the human psyche – scientists who use these tools to communicate their work stand out and have a larger impact on society.
Dr. William Dennison is a professor of marine science and the Vice President for Science Application at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). Dr. Dennison’s primary mission within UMCES is to coordinate the Integration and Application Network (IAN), a group of Science Communicators and Science Integrators, who work with a diversity of partners to produce science communication products, build capacity through training and teaching, and develop environmental assessments. The IAN team has been developing environmental report cards in iconic locations around the world. IAN staff have pioneered new ways to synthesize environmental data and communicate complex science concepts. Dr. Dennison rejoined UMCES in 2002 following a ten-year stint at the University of Queensland, Australia. He was at UMCES previously from 1988-1992 following a post-doc at Stony Brook University, PhD at the University of Chicago, MS at the University of Alaska, and BA at Western Michigan University.