Science communication

There are a lot of ways 2020 is going to be remembered and, to be honest, a lot of us will probably remember it as a pretty terrible year, for very obvious reasons. But here at Utah Public Radio, we’re also going to remember 2020 as a year in which we learned some amazing things about our world.

Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA

No human has ventured farther than 250,000 miles from earth. So what we know about what lies beyond us is limited to what we can see through data collection. But why limit the potential of understanding data to what we can see in images? Why not turn it into something we can touch or something we can hear?

  As it was becoming clear that the United States was going to be one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was asked to talk to a group of climate adaptation students about crisis communication — and I worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to draw lines between two very different crises. It turns out, though, that these crises have a lot in common.

Kevin Spencer, creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

This week on Undisciplined, we’re talking about jargon — specialized words or expressions that are used by people in a particular profession and which are difficult for other to understand. The sciences are particularly replete with these words, and that’s not a small problem. Our guest this week is a communications professor who says that insider language tells people that they don’t belong.  

ZooMIN

If a scientist makes a discovery while doing research, they will usually write an academic paper and submit it to a scientific journal. If the paper makes it through peer review, it’s published. For many scientists, the onus to communicate their discovery ends there. But more researchers are thinking that's not enough.

The Indian Express

This week on UnDisciplined, we're gathering up a motley gang of science geeks to talk about some of the biggest stories in science over the past few weeks. 

Patrick Alexander / Flickr

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about the intersection of science and personal decision-making — and, of course, we're looking at it from two very different perspectives. 

Residents along the Wasatch front surveyed on water issues
Flickr

A recent study by Utah science researchers indicates communicating about science can have an impact on efforts by scientists to manage and protect the state’s water resources. The study also shows a correlation between public outreach events and citizen involvement when it comes to participating in water information programs.  

Andrew Kulmatiski / Utah State University

When plant ecologists are out for a walk, they see a puzzle. For almost 100 years, they’ve been trying to understand what governs the presence and abundance of a plant species in a community.  

Aimee Tallian

James Coburn works for the Physics Department at Utah State University. He’s the driving force behind a favorite Thanksgiving tradition, the November Physics Demo Show.

Scientific American Blog Network

Today's discussion is on the importance of science communication. We are joined by the Director of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University Laura Lindenfeld, Improv Program Leader of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science Valeri Lantz-Gefroh, Phd candidate and UPR Science Reporter Daniel Kinka, and Aimee Tallian and Director Nancy Huntly of the USU Ecology Center.

Did you know  2.9 trillion pounds of food are wasted each year, which is equal to one-third of the world’s food supply?  This is just one of the many facts you can learn in an award-winning online video about solid waste made by Utah State University engineering student Nathan Guyman.

Mary-Ann Muffoletto

A group of scientists at Utah State University has developed a unique way to share their research with the community. Science Unwrapped is a program that teaches the public about science and how scientists learn to interact with the public.

Ka-Voka Jackson

As you float down the Colorado River from Glen Canyon Dam to Lake Mead you may not realize that river right, the north side of the river, is owned and managed by the National Park Service and river left is managed by several groups including the Hualapai and Havasupai Indian nations.

Physics professor, bestselling author, and dynamic storyteller James Kakalios reveals the mind-bending science behind the seemingly basic things that keep our daily lives running, from our smart phones and digital “clouds” to x-ray machines and hybrid vehicles.

University of Vermont

Scientists, a small group of them, sit in a circle—it's reminiscent of a campfire gathering despite the fact they're in a drab classroom. Everyone is listening intently to the scientist holding up what looks like a 5x7  photograph, but in reality, is just a blank piece of paper. You wouldn’t know it was an imageless page by the number of eyes staring at it. A scientist is sharing a special memory, distinctly describing the details of the “photograph” that means so much. People laugh, cry, feel, and relate in some way to every story told through the simple piece of paper that makes its way to each person around the circle.