For scientists interested in building their public engagement skills, the first challenge is often finding training opportunities and connecting to others with similar interests. An upcoming online “teach-out” offers a free, flexible opportunity to do both. Stand Up for Science: Practical Approaches for Discussing Science that Matters will be held May 5 – 7, although participants can join for as much or as little of it as they like. This event is being hosted by the University of Michigan’s Office of Academic Innovation and RELATE (a science communication and engagement training program originally developed by graduate students). The teach-out will include an interview with Emily Cloyd, project director for public engagement at AAAS’s Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology, and will point participants to some of the Center’s resources.
Communicating the value of science is a vital undertaking that will continue long after the March for Science brings together friends and supporters worldwide, said several experts at the 2017 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Forum.
At a time when scientific findings are not trusted by the public, or popular with some policymakers, it is essential for federal agencies to remain vigilant against internal and external pressures to suppress or impede the use of science, experts said.
Naomi Oreskes has a question for scientists that many have been asking themselves already: should they speak up on politically sensitive topics, or should they let the facts of their research speak for themselves? In her plenary address at the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting, Oreskes said facts alone do not speak very well without context when it comes to issues such as climate change. Scientists should consider themselves as sentinels, she said, responsibly raising the alarm to government officials and others about what the data show and even offering possible solutions to science-based problems.
Project looks at programs worldwide to glean insights and foster collaboration As the need for science in policymaking grows along with the complexity of challenges facing society, AAAS is issuing a report providing a panoramic view of programs that physically place scientists and engineers in the policy environment — mapping what works best to develop the personal relationships, trust and productive dialogue needed to bridge two very different worlds.