It was great to see so many of you in class this week. I'm really looking forward to working with you all this semester! You can find the lecture slides from this week posted under the appropriate tab. We first introduced ourselves to a partner and shared the information we learned about each other with the class. Next, we took a short pre-survey so that I could learn more about you and your goals for the semester. The majority of you are interested primarily in learning both how to communicate your own science as well as others' research more effectively. Lots of you seem nervous about presenting, and many of you are both nervous and excited to work on that skill, so I'm happy to tell you that there will be several opportunities for you to practice giving presentations throughout the semester! Your interests are extremely diverse, and we probably won't be able to cover everything. I especially want to apologize to those of you who are jazzed about writing press releases - that's a unit I had to cut in order to make room for the digital visual media class. However, if you're interested in writing press releases, please feel free to reach out to me outside of class time. I've had some experience with them and am happy to share it!
After the pre-survey, I talked a little bit about course goals and how I define science communication (very broadly!). I believe that the skills we learn for outreach directly apply to our professional/academic communications as well, and I hope that you find this course to be useful when it comes to practicing all forms of science communication, even the non-outreach applications. We also talked extensively about how important it is to think about and set your target goal and audience before you work on developing your message. This is a skill I want you to practice through-out the course! Sometimes I will give you your target goal and audience; others you will decide for yourself. Make a point of writing them down or saying them outloud as your very first step!
Finally, I introduced the ever-present elevator pitch, shared my own with you, recieved some feedback on it, and asked that you develop a baseline pitch for the next class. Next week, we'll host three guests who will represent different situations you might want to use those pitches. You will need to adapt your pitch to their situation on the fly, with the goal of starting a conversation with them. You'll get feedback from your classmates and the guests on how your pitch went.
Please feel free to add content to this website! It will hopefully become an archive of everything we do this semester. If you see a useful or relevant article or webpage, please highlight it by creating a blog post about it and/or commenting about it on the Resources page. If you hear about a sci comm opportunity on campus, make sure to let us all know. In order to edit the site, you need a BCRC account. All of you in biology should have no problem activating one, but if you're not in biology we may hit a snag - but Steve Brewer should be able to help us in this situation. So please let me know if that happens.
Hope the rest of the week goes well! See you Monday :)