When you specialize in sexually transmitted infections, people tend to reach out to you. At least, that’s been Christine Johnston’s experience, as a physician and researcher studying genital herpes based at the University of Washington. Prior to starting her fellowship with the AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute for Public Engagement with Science, her public engagement was mostly reactive, interacting with patients and people concerned they might have genital herpes, and responding to requests for media interviews. She found that patient support group conversations often stimulated research questions about the stigma associated with herpes, questions that wouldn’t have arisen just in the clinical setting, even though the stigma is very connected to clinical impacts.
Workshop in Namibia brings together high-level scientists, policymakers, and diplomats from 17 African countries
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.
BOSTON – For bee researchers like May Berenbaum, 2006 was the year an international consortium of researchers published the first full sequence of the honeybee genome, offering a unique and long-sought glimpse at the biological quirks of an insect that shares a productive history with humans.