Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Science communication headlines upcoming Conservation Biology Congress

As misunderstanding of, misinformation about, and disregard for science increases, the need for more effective science communication grows daily. I’m delighted that the North American section of the Society for Conservation Biology has chosen the timely topic of science communication as the focus of its upcoming Congress.

Communicating Science for Conservation Action is the theme of the North American Congress for Conservation Biology (NACCB 2016), which takes place July 17-20, 2016 in Madison, Wisconsin. This Congress, which includes numerous symposia, concurrent sessions, workshops, and short courses, will highlight the importance of integrating successful communication strategies into conservation work. As a science communicator, I’m eagerly anticipating the opportunity to connect with and learn from others working at the intersection of conservation science and communication.

I’ve been reviewing the online program and have flagged some sessions that capture my attention.

Keynote address: The opening keynote speaker is Dietram Scheufele, the John E. Ross Professor in Science Communication and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  (Monday, July 18th, 10:30 AM)

Plenary panel: Science Communication: Speaking Everyone's Language. Panelists for this session are Drew Lanham, Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University; Nadine Lymn, Communications Director at National Science Foundation’s National Science Board; and Carl Safina, Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University, co-chair of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, and founder and president of the Safina Center. (Tuesday July 19th, 10:30 AM)

Symposium: Communication at the intersection of science and policy: Progress and pitfalls between scientists, government agencies, and the media  Brings together perspectives from inside federal agencies, academic institutions, the media, and nongovernmental organizations to assess the state of communications between scientists and federal agencies. (Monday, July 18th, 8:00 AM)

Symposium: Beyond science communication: How managers, policy-makers, and scientists can co-produce actionable science for better conservation outcomes  Explores the process of co-production—a collaboration between scientists, practitioners, and decision-makers—as an effective route to actionable science. (Monday, July 18th, 1:30 PM)

Symposium:Bright Spots” in Conservation: Communication for Inspiration  
Highlights examples of “conservation bright spots,” where reframing large, intractable problems has resulted in conservation successes. (Tuesday, July 19th, 2016, 8:00 AM)

Speed talk: To share your message, tweet it! Twitter as a channel to communicate your science. I’m not only attending this one, I’m the speaker! I’ll focus on, not how to use Twitter, but why Twitter is a valuable communication medium for scientists. If you’re attending NACCB 2016, please come to my presentation and say hello. (Wednesday, July 20th, 2016, 8:00 AM)

Event: Enjoy a special NACCB edition of The Story Collider stage show, which explores the deeply human side of conservation work through true, personal stories of science told live on stage.  (Tuesday, July 19th, 2016, 7:00 PM)

There’s still time to register for NACCB 2016 before the June 30th deadline. You’ll find more information on the conference through their website, Twitter account and Facebook page.  Hope to see you in Madison in July!

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