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Communicating Discovery-Based Research Results to the News: A Real-World Lesson in Science Communication for Undergraduate Students

    Author: Julie Torruellas Garcia1
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 03 November 2017 Accepted 28 November 2017 Published 30 March 2018
    • ©2018 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.

    • Corresponding author. Mailing address: Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314. Phone: 954-262-8195. E-mail: [email protected].
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. March 2018 vol. 19 no. 1 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1516
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    Abstract:

    Communicating science effectively to the general public is a necessary skill that takes practice. Generally, undergraduate science majors are taught to communicate to other scientists but are not given formal training on how to communicate with a nonscientist. An opportunity to appear on a news segment can be used as a real-world lesson on science communication for your students. This article will describe how to contact a producer to get your class on a news segment, ideas for types of research that may be of interest to the media, and how to practice communicating the results effectively.

References & Citations

1. Peters HP 2013 Gap between science and media revisited: scientists as public communicators Proc Natl Acad Sci 110 14102 14109 10.1073/pnas.1212745110 23940312 3752168 http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1212745110
2. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2017 Communicating science effectively: a research agenda The National Academies Press Washington, DC
3. Shugart EC 2015 Scientists: engage the public! mBio 6 e01989 15 10.1128/mBio.01989-15 26695633 4701835 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.01989-15
4. 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 1 E6 E10 24319399 3852879
5. Cooper KM, Soneral PAG, Brownell SE 2017 Define your goals before you design a CURE: a call to use backward design in planning course-based undergraduate research experiences J Microbiol Biol Educ 18 2 10.1128/jmbe.v18i2.1287 28861130 5576764 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v18i2.1287
6. Leboffe MJ, Pierce BE 2015 Microbiology: laboratory theory & application 4th ed Morton Publishing Company Denver, CO
7. Chatfield C 2014 A multi-unit project for building scientific confidence via authentic research in identification of environmental bacterial isolates J Microbiol Biol Educ 15 325 327 10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.789 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v15i2.789
8. Hayes R, Grossman D 2006 A scientist’s guide to talking with the media: practical advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists Rutgers University Press New Brunswick, NJ www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/global_warming/UCS_Desk_Reference_Scientists_Guide.pdf
9. Rakedzon T, Segev E, Chapnik N, Yosef R, Baram-Tsabari A 2017 Automatic jargon identifier for scientists engaging with the public and science communication educators PLOS One 12 8 e0181742 10.1371/journal.pone.0181742 28792945 5549884 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0181742
10. Somerville RCJ, Hassol SJ 2011 Communicating the science of climate change Phys Today 64 10 48 53 10.1063/PT.3.1296 http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.1296
11. Spicer S 2017 The nuts and bolts of evaluating science communication activities Semin Cell Dev Biol 70 17 25 10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.08.026 28823946 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.semcdb.2017.08.026

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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v19i1.1516
2018-03-30
2019-08-18

Abstract:

Communicating science effectively to the general public is a necessary skill that takes practice. Generally, undergraduate science majors are taught to communicate to other scientists but are not given formal training on how to communicate with a nonscientist. An opportunity to appear on a news segment can be used as a real-world lesson on science communication for your students. This article will describe how to contact a producer to get your class on a news segment, ideas for types of research that may be of interest to the media, and how to practice communicating the results effectively.

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