Tackling important challenges with #SciComm
Can bipartisan, inclusive SciComm help solve world problems?
Hi, friends! This month’s newsletter is short, but packed with tons of info about a special type of science communication (SciComm) that’s been really important over the past two years — pandemic SciComm!
In a recent piece for the Science Talk Blog, I (Sheeva) discussed the challenges of being a pandemic SciCommer. As I write in my article, it has not been easy:
“It’s 7 am and I’ve pulled my second all-nighter this week because I can’t sleep. Over the past two years, the COVID pandemic has slowly became my dystopian, anti-science nightmare. As a science communicator, I often lay awake and think about how much I wish that we weren’t nearing the grim milestone of one million COVID deaths.”
Pandemic SciComm has been frought with challenges including evolving science, low science literacy, distrust of scientists, misinformation, challenges in SciComm at the highest levels of government, and unfortunately, politicization of science.
I recently spoke about these challenges at the ScienceTalk ‘22 conference with Nidhi Parekh of The Shared Microscope.
As I’ve learned over the past 2+ years, the best #PandemicSciComm:
Doesn’t take a specific political viewpoint (it is not Republican or Democrat)
Meets people where they are, addressing their fears and concerns
Is nonjudgmental and doesn’t shame or try to scare people
Tailors the message for its audience as much as possible
Helps people develop science and health literacy
Acknowledges that you can’t reach everyone through SciComm, and that’s OK, but it should try to reach everyone.
In my talk, I also emphasize the importance of communications strategies that focus on shared values, rather than capitalizing on fear and anxiety to further divide people. Check out a recording of the session here.
You can catch up with the conference on Twitter with the hashtag #SciTalk22.
What we’re reading (and writing) - Links from around the web
I recently wrote about ways my cognitive neuroscience background makes me a great communicator.
I was also interviewed by Julie Ann Howlett about science copywriting, sexism, and other complex but important topics. Check out the interview here.
“Scientists are truth searchers, fact finders, and problem solvers,” writes Molly Rigatti in her article about ways to write better content for scientists.
Angela Tague shares her outlining process for blog posts over at Web Writers’ Advice.
Monisha Arya is a genius when it comes to marketing - I’ve collaborated with her for a couple of posts on our blog. Check out the branding toolkit she gives her healthcare clients here on LinkedIn.
That’s all for this edition of the Fancy Comma newsletter - thanks for reading! If you liked our newsletter, please share it with your friends on Twitter and other social media platforms!