Most scientists and researchers aren't prepared to talk to the press or to policymakers - or to deal with backlash. And many researchers have the horror stories to prove it. As Nancy Baron points out, scientists who decide they want to inform those outside their own research arena and help guide public discourse need to learn a new set of skills. No matter what your scientific specialty is, writes Baron, the keys to success are thinking clearly, knowing what you want to say, understanding your audience, and using everyday language to get your main points across. Developing these skills is the object of this book. According to Baron, scientists, journalists and policymakers represent three very different cultures. Speaking effectively to journalists and policymakers - the people who make scientists' findings available to the general public - requires scientists to learn a new language. In this clear and understandable guide to 'communicating science', Baron explains to scientists how to engage an audience, how to tell why a particular finding matters, and how to describe research in an interesting way.
She explains to journalists how to develop the same skills for explaining science. The book includes case studies from journalists and from some of the more than 4,000 scientists Baron has trained in communication workshops. Many of her trainees have gone on to become well-known spokespeople for science-related issues. The book is accompanied by an interactive website maintained by Baron herself.
A former journalist, Nancy Baron is a motivated promoter for clearly communicating the public implications of scientific findings. She has spent most of the past eight years training scientists to better communicate science to the media and the public. During this time she has worked with more 4,000 scientists and many journalists and NGO professionals. Escape from the Ivory Tower is a direct result of her experience.