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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
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The Science of
Science Communication III

Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity

PROCEEDINGS OF A COLLOQUIUM

Steve Olson, Rapporteur

Held on November 16–17, 2017,
at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC

images

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, DC
www.nap.edu

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

This publication is based on the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium of the National Academy of Sciences, “The Science of Science Communication III,” held November 16–17, 2017, at the National Academy of Sciences building on Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC.

Support for the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia is provided by the Dame Jillian & Dr. Arthur M. Sackler Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities. Additional support for this colloquium was provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The Kavli Foundation, the Penn State Science Communication Program, the Rita Allen Foundation, Science Sandbox—a Simons Foundation initiative, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Any opinions, finding, conclusions, or recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for the project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-46858-9
International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-46858-2
Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/24958

Additional copies of this publication are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Keck 360, Washington DC 20001; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313; http://www.nap.edu.

Cover art: The Duke & the Duck

Copyright 2018 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested citation: NAS (National Academy of Sciences). The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/24958.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
×

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The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president.

The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president.

The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.

Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
×

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Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task.

Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies.

For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
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Preface

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Climate intervention . . . fracking . . . vaccines . . . human genome editing . . . artificial intelligence. . . . With so many complex, important, and sometimes uncertain scientific issues facing our society, there has never been a more critical time to communicate science effectively. Polls show that the public has high trust and confidence in science and believes that science provides great benefits to the world. Yet, many people continue to deny the conclusions of science in areas such as evolution, climate change, and vaccination. Why do people refuse to accept the scientific consensus on these topics given their high confidence in science generally?

The science of science communication can help resolve this riddle. Behavioral and cognitive scientists can explore how people perceive and think about scientific issues. Social scientists can study the contexts in which science communication occurs and the effects of that communication on public policy. These interdependent research areas have revealed much about how people interpret and sometimes reject scientific information, with much more to be learned.

In 2011, the late Ralph J. Cicerone, then President of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and a noted climate scientist, had the vision to convene a diverse group of scientists and practitioners to survey the state of research on science communication and its application in practice. His initiative led to the first Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium on the Science of Science Communication, which was hosted by the NAS in Washington, DC, in 2012. It brought together leading social, behavioral, and decision

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
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scientists to survey the state of the art in their fields as they relate to science communication along with prominent communication practitioners and policy makers, including four science advisors to the president of the United States. A special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)1 made the research available to a wide audience, as did the webcast and archived videos2 of the sessions.

The second Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium on the Science of Science Communication was held the following year. It expanded the set of contributing sciences and highlighted the particular challenges of communicating about contested or controversial science and of establishing working relationships that take full advantage of the sciences of communication. It, too, led to a special issue of PNAS3 and archived video,4 as well as a published summary.5 Together, the first and second colloquia were a major impetus behind the 2017 consensus study Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.6

The third Arthur M. Sackler Colloquium on the Science of Science Communication, held on November 16–17, 2017, in Washington, DC, used Communicating Science Effectively as a framework for examining how one might apply its lessons to research and practice. It considered opportunities for creating and applying the science along with the barriers to doing so, such as the incentive systems in academic institutions and the perils of communicating science in polarized environments. Special attention was given to the organization and infrastructure necessary for building capacity in science communication. More than 550 people attended the colloquium; the webcast had more than 16,000 live views. Archived video7 is available, with another special issue of PNAS forthcoming.

The sponsors of the colloquium were the Dame Jillian & Dr. Arthur M. Sackler Foundation for the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The Kavli Foundation, the Penn State Science Communication Program, the Rita Allen Foundation, Science Sandbox—a Simons Foundation initiative, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The colloquium owed a special debt to Dame Jillian Sackler, whose gift

___________________

1 See http://www.pnas.org/content/110/supplement_3.

2 See http://www.nasonline.org/programs/sackler-colloquia/completed_colloquia/agenda-science-communication.html.

3 See http://www.pnas.org/content/111/supplement_4.

4 See http://www.nasonline.org/programs/sackler-collquia/completed_colloquia/agenda-science-communication-II.html.

5 See https://www.nap.edu/catalog/18478.

6 See https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23674.

7 See https://www.youtube.com/user/sacklercolloquia/videos?disable_polymer=1.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
×

in memory of her husband, Arthur M. Sackler, has made possible four or five colloquia each year that bring together leading scientists in their fields with others interested in the topics of their research. More information about the colloquia is available online.8

At the National Academies, Marty Perreault and Susan Marty helped make the colloquium happen. Frank Sesno and Ashley Llorens moderated the first and second days of the event. Steve Olson wrote the summary of the colloquium, with editorial and administrative assistance from Stephen Mautner.

Finally, we want to especially thank Barbara Kline Pope, executive director for communications and the National Academies Press at the National Academies (until September 2017 and now director of the Johns Hopkins University Press) for her leadership on all three of the Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia on the Science of Science Communication.

Karen S. Cook

Baruch Fischhoff

Alan I. Leshner

Dietram A. Scheufele

Colloquium Organizers

Marcia McNutt

President, National Academy of Sciences

___________________

8 See http://www.nasonline.org/programs/sackler-colloquia.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
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Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 2018. The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity: Proceedings of a Colloquium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24958.
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Successful scientists must be effective communicators within their professions. Without those skills, they could not write papers and funding proposals, give talks and field questions, or teach classes and mentor students. However, communicating with audiences outside their profession - people who may not share scientists' interests, technical background, cultural assumptions, and modes of expression - presents different challenges and requires additional skills. Communication about science in political or social settings differs from discourse within a scientific discipline. Not only are scientists just one of many stakeholders vying for access to the public agenda, but the political debates surrounding science and its applications may sometimes confront scientists with unfamiliar and uncomfortable discussions involving religious values, partisan interests, and even the trustworthiness of science.

The Science of Science Communication III: Inspiring Novel Collaborations and Building Capacity summarizes the presentations and discussions from a Sackler Colloquium convened in November 2017. This event used Communicating Science Effectively as a framework for examining how one might apply its lessons to research and practice. It considered opportunities for creating and applying the science along with the barriers to doing so, such as the incentive systems in academic institutions and the perils of communicating science in polarized environments. Special attention was given to the organization and infrastructure necessary for building capacity in science communication.

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