News

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My interview with the Sound of Science podcast is out! Check it out! (Warning Explicit Language)

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Introducing The Science Communication Project Store! By purchasing items though this link, you help to support The Science Communication Project. 

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The latest from The SCP Roundup, featuring articles about The Food Babe, Gweneth Paltrow, and homeopathy. Also, great satire from Food Hunk, SkepDick, and The Spudd. Check it out!

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Introducing The SCP Roundup!

Inline with our mission of creating an online portal to great science content, we have created The SCP Roundup where we will regularly highlight the work of great science communicators. Check it out!

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SB-792 Day Care Facilities: Immunizations: Exemptions.


A new bill in California SB 792 Requires day care center and family day care home employees to be immunized against influenza, pertussis and measles. The Science Communication Project is in support of this bill. Please contact these representatives and share this post!



Read the bill here


CALL – FAX – EMAIL – TWEET — URGE a YES VOTE TODAY!


Contact YOUR Assembly Member to urge a YES VOTE! http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/


Assembly Human Services Committee: http://ahum.assembly.ca.gov/hearings

(916) 319-2089 – Fax (916) 319-2189


Kansen Chu (Chair) (D) – 25

P.O. Box 942849, Room 5175, Sacramento, CA 94249-0025

(916) 319-2025 Fax: (916) 319-2125


Chad Mayes (Vice Chair) (R) – 42

P.O. Box 942849, Room 4144, Sacramento, CA 94249-0042

(916) 319-2042 Fax: (916) 319-2142


Ian C. Calderon (D) – 57

P.O. Box 942849, Room 2148, Sacramento, CA 94249-0057;

(916) 319-2057 Fax: (916) 319-2157


Patty López (D) – 39

P.O. Box 942849, Room 4126, Sacramento, CA 94249-0039

(916) 319-2039 Fax: (916) 319-2139


Brian Maienschein (R) – 77

P.O. Box 942849, Room 4139, Sacramento, CA 94249-0077

(916) 319-2077 Fax: (916) 319-2177


Mark Stone (D) – 29

P.O. Box 942849, Room 5155, Sacramento, CA 94249-0029

(916) 319-2029 Fax: (916) 319-2129


Tony Thurmond (D) – 15

P.O. Box 942849, Room 5150, Sacramento, CA 94249-0015

(916) 319-2015 Fax: (916) 319-2115


EMAIL:

Myesha.Jackson@asm.ca.gov,

assemblymember.Chu@assembly.ca.gov,

assemblymember.Mayes@assembly.ca.gov,

assemblymember.Calderon@assembly.ca.gov,

assemblymember.Lopez@assembly.ca.gov,

assemblymember.Maienschein@assembly.ca.gov

assemblymember.Stone@assembly.ca.gov,

assemblymember.Thurmond@assembly.ca.gov


TWEET:

@MrTonyMendoza

@TonyThurmond

@AsmMarkStone

@BMaienschein

@ChadMayesCA

@kansenchu

@PattyLopez_D_39

@IanCalderon

@IanAD57



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 The Science Communication Project: Women

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 The Case For a New Path to Science

by Angelo Niosi


We have a problem. We live in a civilization based on science and almost no one understands how science works. Our health, communications, technology, and food industries, water management, energy sector, and our understanding of the environment and the natural world all depend on science. Carl Sagan warned us of this when he said,


"We've arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces."


We are seeing real repercussions of this right now with climate change denial, the anti-vaccine movement, policy makers trying to insert intelligent design into the science classroom, the anti-GMO movement, and the anti-birth control movement. Also with the perseverance of pseudoscience frauds, who are taking advantage of people. The most recent example being the alternative medicine practitioners, who encourage those infected with ebola to abstain from science based medicine. One of the worst things about these issues is they disproportionately affect the poor, the hungry, the sick, the elderly, women, and children.

 

Furthermore, life on this planet is in great peril because of human activities. As a species we have evolved the unique ability to care for and preserve the other life forms we share this planet with, life evolved to take care of itself. However, we need a science literate public to influence public policy, and science literate politicians. Unfortunately we live in a world where only a small minority of our leaders understand science.


What do I mean by understanding science? I certainly don’t expect a public where everyone has memorized the enzymes involved in DNA replication or the molecular formula for petroleum, (though it would be nice). What I mean by understanding science is for the public to understand the method that scientists use, why they use it, and what it means when scientists are in consensus. To use a computer metaphor, one could argue that in these modern times, it would empower people to be computer literate. This doesn’t mean they need to know how to build a computer or program software, it does mean they should know how to turn on a computer, go online, type, use a word processor, etc. The ability to evaluate a scientific issue is a skill that can be taught, and it is a very important one if we expect to thrive as a civilization.


I believe there are two major causes for our current scientific ignorance, and I have an idea on what we can do about it.


The first cause is that scientists in general have not done a good job communicating to the public. 


Science is done in universities and for private research. The results are published in journals which are specific to the respective field of research. A subscription to these journals are often costly. Scientist are a small community of inter communicating professionals and experts, that are primarily concerned with their own research. There aren't that many scientist that are writing for the public, making websites, YouTube videos, movies, Facebook pages, tweeting, or running for public office. Even when some scientists try to do these things, they often turnout to be stuffy or lack understanding of current popular culture. Most scientists, (and thankfully so), are detail oriented, logical, technical... and otherwise... geeky. I personally love this about scientists and I believe this has been one of the attributes that gives science such an advantage. However this leads me to my second cause.


The curriculum required to get a degree in science is best completed by individuals who excel at math, are capable of spending insanely long durations studying, are detail oriented, and conform easily. 


This, unfortunately, weeds out a lot of very creative and charismatic minds. I've met many art, theatre, and literature majors who have told me they were interested in marine biology, botany, or astronomy, but during their attempt towards a degree in these fields they struggled in a chemistry course,or calculus, or physics. While studying biology I personally saw these courses start out fully enrolled, but by midway through the course, one third to one half of the students dropped. These creative and intelligent students many times decide that science just isn't for them, and they go on to study art, media, acting, film, journalism etc. My point here is that these are the exact people who would make great science communicators.


Whether we like it or not, we live in a reality where actresses like Jenny McCarthy and radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh have enormous power to influence public opinion and potentially undermine science. We need to flip the tables and get more people in these types of positions that are science literate. We need more and better science communicators!


While we're on the topic of groups who are underrepresented in science, we need more women in science! We need women communicating about science for other women. Science literacy empowers people, and empowered educated women are incredibly valuable and important for our civilization.


So how do we get more and better science communicators? How do we get more women and underrepresented groups in science? We need to create a new path to science!


I’ve been thinking about this for sometime now, and I think this can be done. I certainly don’t propose that we get rid of chemistry or calculus or physics, for people that want to become doctors or do research. What I do think however, is many more people than those who hold degrees in science could become effective science communicators. 

So I'd like to introduce, The Science Communication Project!

Our aim is to increase science literacy. To accomplish this goal we will:

First, create an online portal, where people can access great free existing educational science content. We will continue to add to this list with the help of our supporters who can find and share even more great science content. 

Second, we will create our own content by and for underrepresented groups in science. We will also help and encourage anyone else who wants to create similar content.

Third, we will create a dialogue with public leaders, public organizations, and private industry to support science literacy and to incentivize science education within their organizations.


Imagine this, each new science communicator would be the representative of science in their group of friends, their family, and in their work place. Each of them inspiring and informing those around them and creating content. This in turn will lead to more interest in science, and even more science communicators!
This project is just getting started. We plan to innovate and adjust our plan as we learn what works and what doesn't. Also We need your help! Provide us with feedback, share great science content with us, create your own science content, tell your friends, and share our Facebook page

We have big problems to solve, and a science literate public would be a great step forward. There's so many great things to come, so stay tuned!