January 12, 2012 | 4
I’m moderating a session at the ScienceOnline2012 Conference next week in Research Triangle, NC: Broadening Participation of Underrepresented populations in online science communication & communities.
Since I began science blogging (in 2006) I’ve spent a considerable amount of my energy emphasizing diversity in the sciences. It simply reflected my interests in real life. The inspiration is very personal (and selfish): I grow weary of being the only brown face in the science audience. I know my experience is shaped by the fact that I have attended majority institutions throughout my education and again now for my post-doc; but that hasn’t deterred me from my mission to replace myself with as many ‘Mini-Mes’ as I can recruit. It’s the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to biological urge except in this case it’s to ‘birth’ more scientists from communities of color or those from economically-marginalized communities as possible.
This world-wide plot not only includes doing live programming like science outreach, teaching, and mentoring research of young scholars, it also includes encouraging more people to become consumers of science, technology and education news. Of course, if I had my way every single one of you would become a scientist, engineer, or science/math educator but that wouldn’t give you enough options. And giving you options and choices is just my way. I’m a generous mad scientist like that. That’s where science communication comes in. Communicating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is equally important to my world-domination plot, too. But this means laying the foundation for larger audiences to consume STEM information, especially in new and creative ways that are relevant to under-served audiences.
That’s what the panel I’ll be moderating at ScienceOnline2012 is all about. With the help of the other experts in the room, we’ll discuss and share strategies for engaging multiple audiences in science and science communication. Questions we will explore include:
And don’t discount your voice if you’re not a blogger or scientist. Personally, I’d like to hear from more people who don’t fit those descriptions. How else will we (science communicators) know what matters if we don’t get any honest feedback from the people we intend to serve?
Furthermore, the great thing about this conference is that it’s an unconference, meaning everyone and anyone has something important to offer. Even if you’re not able to attend, you can still participate. You can weigh in on this panel (or any of the other outstanding and equally interesting and important panels about STEM outreach and science communication) by visiting the conference wiki page or leaving a comment below post or logging a comment via Twitter (#Scio12)
Links to ScienceOnline2012.
Conference Program with click-able links that describe each panel and session.
Broadening Participation of Underrepresented populations in online science communication & communities
Writing about science for women’s (and men’s) magazines and not being ashamed of it, dammit
Understanding audiences and how to know when you are *really* reaching out
Science Training for Journalists
Blogging in the undergraduate science classroom (how to maximize the potential of course blogs)
Citizens, experts, and science
Is encouraging scientific literacy more than telling people what they need to know?