29 January 2013

Here comes #scio13

Tomorrow is the start of the annual ScienceOnline conference.   I can't say enough about the conference leaders - Bora Zivkovic, Anton Zuiker, and Karyn Traphagen. The amount of work they put into this conference - on top of their already ridiculously busy lives - is amazing. I know so many people are so grateful for all they do to bring this community together and help it grow and thrive.

I'm also all about showing the ScienceOnline sponsors a little love - especially my good friends at Alltech. (say it with me: "Bourbon. Barrel. Ale.")

Further, I'm grateful to Emily Wilingham, who is co-moderating the panel "Tackling science denialism with a systematic gameplan." I talk a good game when it comes to addressing those who would deny or obfuscate science for their own ends, but Emily lives it.  Emily and I will share some of our experiences, and we hope others will do the same.  I already wrote a bit about our panel, but I think I'll just repeat the questions I like to have handy when formulating a communications strategy:
  • What's your measurable goal - is it a public policy change, a business change, something else?
  • Who makes up the specific audience or community you wish to influence?  Who are that community's leaders?
  • How will you build or strengthen your relationships with those leaders? 
  • Who are some allies that may not be scientists or science communicators? 
  • Who are your opponents?
  • How will you know you've made progress?
  • How are you testing your messages to know that what you're saying persuades people?
  • What resources do you have readily available, and what more do you need?
  • What is your timeline for success?
Most importantly, I'm grateful to the people who love science and understand its importance, even if they're not scientists or science writers.  People like Cecily Kellogg, Brenna Burke, Thea Joselow, Jason Sperber, Kristen Chase, Catherine Connors, Kelly WickhamJulie Marsh, Kim MoldofskyVeronica Arreola, and many more. These are the people - parents and good citizens who think critically and have strong credibility and many relationships in their communities - who will defeat denialism through their everyday decisions and the values they pass on to their kids.  We need more people like them. 

No comments: