Physics Department Seminar University of Alaska Fairbanks

J O U R N A L    C L U B

Talking Science to the General Public
Karen Remick
Physics Dept.

Science is the most exciting subject there is, so why do people glaze over when we try to tell them about the exciting things we are doing? A friend of mine with a psychology degree told me that most people do not think and process data the way scientists do, thus we cannot communicate with them in the same manner that we communicate with each other. As it is the speaker's job to talk in a way that the listener can understand, we need to adjust how we express ourselves based on the target audience. I spent last summer in Pioneer Park explaining the aurora to tourists, and through experimentation, determined some changes that need to be made in the way we talk in order to communicate more clearly with the vast majority of the general public. In this talk I will be using clips from my "Science of the Aurora" talk to illustrate the changes I found necessary. While most of the changes are diametrically opposed to what makes good scientific communication, a few could be used to enhance a good scientific presentation.

Friday, 25 January 2008
Globe Room, Elvey Building
3:45 PM