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Development of Oral Communication Skills by Undergraduates that Convey Evolutionary Concepts to the Public

    Authors: Lacy M. Cleveland1,*, Robert J. Reinsvold2
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    Affiliations: 1: MAST Institute, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639; 2: School of Biological Sciences, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 26 August 2016 Accepted 20 December 2016 Published 21 April 2017
    • ©2017 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology.
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: MAST Institute, University of Northern Colorado, Campus Box 123, 501 20th Street, Greeley, CO 80639. Phone: 970-351-1511. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. April 2017 vol. 18 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v18i1.1227
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    Abstract:

    Leaders in undergraduate biology education have recommended that post-secondary programs recognize the importance of communication. Scientists are generally recognized as the conduit for communicating scientific information with the public. Traditionally, scientific training has focused on building students’ content knowledge, knowledge of terminology, and ability to communicate with other scientists. The majority of undergraduate biology programs do not include a focus on building their students’ ability to communicate scientific information to non-scientists. Due to both its controversy (outside the scientific community) and conflicting scientific and lay terminology, speaking to non-scientists about evolution can be especially challenging. In this Tips and Tool article, we present an interactive approach to help build students’ conceptual knowledge of evolution and to develop their ability to orally communicate with non-scientists.

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References & Citations

1. American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action: a summary of recommendations made at a national conference organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, July 15–17, 2009 Washington, DC
2. Bird SJ 2014 Socially responsible science is more than “Good Science.” J Microbiol Biol Educ 15 169 172 10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.870 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.870
3. Davies SR 2008 Constructing communication: talking to scientists about talking to the public Sci Comm 29 413 434 10.1177/1075547008316222 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1075547008316222
4. Allum N, Sturgis P, Tabourazi D, Brunton-Smith I 2008 Science knowledge and attitudes across cultures: a meta-analysis Public Underst Sci 17 35 54 10.1177/0963662506070159 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963662506070159
5. Bubela T, Nisbet MC, Borchelt R, Brunger F, Critchley C, Einsiedel E, Geller G, Gupta A, Hampel J, Hyde-Lay R, Jandciu EW, Jones SA, Kolopack P, Lane S, Lougheed T, Nerlich B, Ogbogu U, O’Riordan K, Ouellette C, Spear M, Strauss S, Thavaratnam T, Willemse L, Caulfield T 2009 Science communication reconsidered Nature Biotechnol 27 514 518 10.1038/nbt0609-514 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt0609-514
6. Weitkamp E 2014 Exploring serendipitous dialogue J Sci Commun 13 04 http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/24755/1/JCOM_1304_2014_E.pdf
7. Brownell SE, Price JV, Steinman L 2013 Science communication to the general public: why we need to teach undergraduate and graduate students this skill as part of their formal scientific training J Undergrad Neurosci Educ 12 E6 E10 24319399 3852879
8. Greenwood MRC, Riordan DG 2001 Civic scientist/civic duty Sci Comm 23 28 40 10.1177/1075547001023001003 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1075547001023001003
9. Leshner AI 2003 Public engagement with science Science 299 5609 977 10.1126/science.299.5609.977 12586907 http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.299.5609.977
10. Miller JD 2004 Public understanding of, and attitudes toward scientific research: what we know and what we need to know Public Understand Sci 13 273 294 10.1177/0963662504044908 http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963662504044908
11. Nisbet MC, Scheufele DA 2009 What’s next for science communication? Promising directions and lingering distractions Am J Bot 96 1767 1778 10.3732/ajb.0900041 21622297 http://dx.doi.org/10.3732/ajb.0900041
12. Yoho RA, Vanmali BH 2016 Controversy in biology classrooms—citizen science approaches to evolution and applications to climate change discussions J Microbiol Biol Educ 17 1 110 114 10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1026 27047604 4798790 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v17i1.1026

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2017-04-21
2019-03-19

Abstract:

Leaders in undergraduate biology education have recommended that post-secondary programs recognize the importance of communication. Scientists are generally recognized as the conduit for communicating scientific information with the public. Traditionally, scientific training has focused on building students’ content knowledge, knowledge of terminology, and ability to communicate with other scientists. The majority of undergraduate biology programs do not include a focus on building their students’ ability to communicate scientific information to non-scientists. Due to both its controversy (outside the scientific community) and conflicting scientific and lay terminology, speaking to non-scientists about evolution can be especially challenging. In this Tips and Tool article, we present an interactive approach to help build students’ conceptual knowledge of evolution and to develop their ability to orally communicate with non-scientists.

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