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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A--Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2014. Sustainable Infrastructures for Life Science Communication: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18728.
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Appendix A
Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee will plan and convene a public workshop to explore infrastructures that may be needed to encourage and support life scientists in their efforts to communicate with or engage the public in science. The workshop will look at communication infrastructure across a range of life science institutions, including federal agencies, academia, industry, and nonprofit organizations. Workshop presentations and discussions may explore questions such as what institutional policies guide science communication; what types of institutional support structures (departments, programs, training, etc.) encourage life scientists to communicate; and should and how can institutions connect their life scientists with external communication and engagement infrastructures (media, boundary organizations, science centers, and others). These types of questions will be explored through two primary lenses:

1.   Infrastructure barriers that may inhibit effective science communication

2.   Novel approaches to infrastructure that facilitate effective science communication

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A--Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2014. Sustainable Infrastructures for Life Science Communication: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18728.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A--Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2014. Sustainable Infrastructures for Life Science Communication: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18728.
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Page 53
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A--Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2014. Sustainable Infrastructures for Life Science Communication: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/18728.
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Page 54
Next: Appendix B--Workshop Agenda »
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Advances in the life sciences - from the human genome to biotechnology to personalized medicine and sustainable communities - have profound implications for the well-being of society and the natural world. Improved public understanding of such scientific advances has the potential to benefit both individuals and society through enhanced quality of life and environmental protection, improved K-12 and undergraduate science education, greater understanding of human connections to the natural world, and more sustainable policies and regulations. Yet few systems of support exist to help life scientist communicators share their research with a broad range of public audiences, or engage the public in discussions about their work.

Sustainable Infrastructures for Life Science Communication is the summary of a two-part workshop convened in December 2013 and January 2014 by the National Research Council Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences to identify infrastructure-related barriers that inhibit or prohibit life scientists from communicating about their work and characteristics of infrastructure that facilitate or encourage scientists to engage with public audiences. The workshop featured both formal presentations and panel discussions among participants from academia, industry, journalism, the federal government, and nonprofit organizations. The presentations highlighted the motivations of and challenges to life scientist communicators, theoretical approaches to science communication, examples of different types of infrastructure to support science communication, and the need for building more sustainable science communication infrastructures. This report considers communication infrastructure across a range of life science institutions, including federal agencies, academia, industry, and nonprofit organizations and explores novel approaches to facilitate effective science communication.

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