Author: Jacqueline Aenlle, Kansas State University, United States
Many communication professionals rely on the engagement of scientists to support and strengthen our communication efforts. Though some scientists enjoy working with communicators, many still have reservations. This mini-workshop will explore how to better engage with scientists. This 50-minute workshop is focused on the relationship between scientists and communicators or journalists, discusses recent testimonials from subject matter experts on their experiences interacting with different communicators and journalists, and describes which opportunities they are more likely to accept. The workshop will start by sharing common barriers to scientists participating in science communication efforts and ways organizations are addressing these barriers. Next, participants will hear from a panel that includes podcast hosts, Extension agents, and university scientists who have participated in a variety of outreach opportunities. These testimonials will be pre-recorded and shared via video at the conference. After allowing adequate time for discussion of workshop participants’ experiences with building relationships with scientists and challenges they’ve faced, we will conclude this workshop by examining the role of trust (e.g., the trust equation as presented in the Trusted Advisor by David Maister, Rob Galford, and Charles Green) in this relationship, existing trust survey instruments, and items of trustworthiness to consider when working with scientists to discuss their work. This workshop will be of interest to science writers, podcasters, and multi-media producers since many of the examples and testimonials are from these fields. Attendees will leave the workshop with a better understanding of trust dimensions, reservations of scientists when participating in science communication, and tips for strengthening relationships with scientists to increase their willingness to participate in science communication.