I have been a science popularizer for over three-and-a-half decades; I have been a science communicator for just a tad more than one decade. What’s the difference you might ask? A science popularizer is often a scientist with a good turn of phrase or an engaging personality who is able to communicate scientific ideas and facts to the non-specialist in ways that are digestible – … Continue reading Science Popularization vs Science Communication
Just nine months ago, I posed the question: should science communication get involved with gun control? I noted the number of homicides committed by using guns in New Zealand (5 in 2014) compared to the United States (over 15,000 in 2016). Ten days ago, one lone gunman with a collection of semi-automatic assault rifles killed 50 people in Christchurch: ten years’ accumulation of homicides in … Continue reading Yes, Science Communication should get involved with Gun Control!
I have been out of action: a combination of illness, travel, and other commitments. I could tell you a story about that, but I thought instead, I’d share this with you, which is all about the place of stories in science communication. A couple of years ago, I was in South Africa, where the lovely Marina Joubert looked after me and my family brilliantly and … Continue reading The Role of Storytelling in Communicating Science: Marina Joubert interviews Lloyd Spencer Davis
Okay, this is a little different. If a picture can tell a thousand words, then by posting a video, I should pretty much not have to say anything at all! This is a video made by Tourism New Zealand to capture the essence of the Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) Conference held in Dunedin, New Zealand from 3-6 April, 2018: The next conference … Continue reading PCST 2018 Video
I live in New Zealand, where two items on the national news over this last week really caught my attention. The first was a report that a student at a school in Auckland had been punched by another, causing him to fall and hit his head, which required him to be hospitalised. This was just over a week after another student at another school – … Continue reading Gun Control: should Science Communication get Involved?
Recently, I was a co-author of a paper published in the journal Environmental Communication examining the differences and similarities between science communication and environmental communication. The paper covers many aspects, from the historical development of each field of study to overlaps in scope and differences in focus. However, there was one point that emerged from our review that seemed more salient to me than all … Continue reading Science Communication should wear its Heart more on its Sleeve
William Shakespeare wrote the play As You Like It over 400 years ago. It contains a famous monologue, often referred to as the Seven Ages of Man – although, if Bill were writing it today, it should no doubt be called the Seven Ages of Humans. It begins, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” The major point that … Continue reading Citizen Science is not all it is cracked up to be
Last night I watched a film called The Factory, which was released on DVD in 2013, fully five years after the completion of filming and following a very limited theatrical release in late 2012. The film fits squarely into the crime-thriller genre and supposedly is “based on actual events.” Without giving too much away, it involves a cop (played by the highly watchable John Cusack) … Continue reading Storytelling: the importance of truth and a good ending
The premiere conference for science communicators is the biennial PCST Conference, which this year was held in Dunedin, New Zealand, from 3 – 6 April. The initials PCST stand for “Public Communication of Science and Technology.” Ironically, however, the public is typically excluded from the PCST Conference events, which are aimed at researchers and practitioners in the field of science communication. This time, we decided … Continue reading The Public Communication of Science and Technology
It takes a lot of confidence to call yourself a writer. I had published several books and won a handful of awards before I dared to put my occupation down as “writer” on any form. It was a seminal moment in my life, one that I remember well: the first time I let myself believe that I actually deserved to be called a writer. And … Continue reading Is Writing Becoming an Irrelevant form of Communication?