Monday, April 15, 2013

Reflections on Becoming the Science Communicator. Part 2 The Message

The Message:
The message session was all about the triangle. Have a main point and three attributes holding up that main point. It's a great way to "Frame" your talk. Framing was another buzz word which really helped me "picture" the outline of my talk (sorry I couldn't resist). When framing a picture you might not include the whole thing, but you do make sure to frame and highlight the parts that resonate with the viewer. A talk should have the same thing.

The majority of the talks that we discussed were those to a more general audience. Perhaps a 5 minute presentation to a group of citizen scientist. Man, in 5 minutes I'm not sure I can even define what space physics is! However, as you'll see in the attached video in the next post, I gave it a good try.

During all the sections we had some great worksheets to go through. I think it really helps. On the most useful one they gave us 10 points to think about. I've included what I try to think about while writing blog post, however I would be really interested to know who reads our posts, and what you think we should be focusing on.
The first is pretty obvious for us:
1) I'm going to talk about: BARREL and space physics.

The next few are who I think tends to read our posts now that the 2013 campaign has finished. Is this a correct guess? How much do you are readers know about space physics/space weather and Antarctic Balloon missions?
2) My audience is: The citizen scientist
3) My message is targeted to this one type of person in the audience: Scientifically-friendly with some science literacy. Friends and family of out colleagues who may or may not be scientist themselves.
4) Relative to what I'm talking about they know: Perhaps that space physics has something to do with the aurora and explosions on the sun.
5) This makes them (supportive/resistant): Supportive!
6) The audience will respond most favourably if I make my points in the context of: science, effects on technology, and personal involvement.

The next ones really touches on what we hope you the reader leave with after reading our blog.
7) Relative to what I'm talking about I want the reader to believe: that scientific research is important, fun, and really interesting. It is something that helps not just our understanding of the world around us, but leads to advancements in technology, other areas of scientific research, and better lives.
8) Three things that the audience show walk away knowing about this subject
  • What space physics/ space weather is. 
  • Why we want to be able to predict space weather events. 
  • How Balloon missions can add greatly to this endeavour of understanding our Sun-Earth environment and someday being able to predict space weather events. 
9) arguments and evidence that support my assertions (This was an interesting one because it changes based on whom you are talking to. With other scientist in your field we want cited studies, but for a more general audience analogies and more emotional appeals or story telling was what was suggested to go here.)

And finally, I will be reaching my audience through: A Blog!

So how do you think I've done so far? Have I sucessfully understood who my audience is?

And tomorrow, the conclusion and the embarrassing one take video...