Download Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist's Guide to Talking to by Cornelia Dean PDF

By Cornelia Dean

What we don’t be aware of can harm us—and does so on a daily basis. weather swap, well-being care coverage, guns of mass destruction, an getting older infrastructure, stem mobile study, endangered species, area exploration—all have an effect on our lives as voters and people in sensible and profound methods. yet until we comprehend the technological know-how in the back of those matters, we can't make moderate decisions—and worse, we're liable to propaganda cloaked in medical rhetoric.

To exhibit the evidence, this ebook indicates, scientists needs to take a extra lively function in making their paintings available to the media, and hence to the general public. In Am I Making Myself Clear? Cornelia Dean, a unusual technology editor and reporter, urges scientists to beat their institutional reticence and allow their voices be heard past the discussion board of scholarly e-book. by way of delivering beneficial tricks for making improvements to their interactions with policymakers, the general public, and her fellow reporters, Dean goals to alter the perspective of scientists who scorn the mass media as an enviornment the place vital paintings is just too usually misrepresented or hyped. much more vital, she seeks to persuade them of the worth and urgency of speaking to the general public.

Am I Making Myself Clear? exhibits scientists the way to communicate to the general public, deal with the media, and describe their paintings to a lay viewers on paper, on-line, and over the airwaves. it's a e-book that may enhance the tone and content material of discussion over serious concerns and should serve the pursuits of technological know-how and society.

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They must be able to make some kind of sense of research findings when they are reported. But even if they achieved a utopian level of understanding, they will still need someone to report the findings—and explain what they mean. Who will do that? Journalists. 23 3 Th e L a n d sc a pe o f Jo u r n a l i sm The conventional (mainstream) journalism that people like me grew up on emerged around the turn of the twentieth century, when newspaper publishers embraced the idea of presenting the news “without fear or favor,” a motto of Adolph Ochs, founder and patriarch of the family that controls the New York Times.

The ideals of the profession—and it was a novel idea to refer to it as a profession—were independence, objectivity, fairness, and an adversarial relationship with those in power. ” Naive as it may sound, that motto sums up my reasons for spending a career in journalism. In much of the twentieth century, high-end practitioners of the craft of careful beat reporting and investigative journalism found themselves working to open doors and shine lights on all segments of society. They formed in effect a kind of shadow government.

Anyway, the biggest problem for journalism now is not that there are too many sources of news, but rather that too few people are paying attention to the news. This problem is not new. Measured by what people in the news business call “penetration,” the percentage of households subscribing to a daily paper, newspaper readership in the United States peaked in the late 1920s. It began falling with the advent of radio (sales of sheet music and other impedimenta of home musicmaking did too) and continued to drop with the arrival of movies and then television.

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