Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Reflections on Becoming the Science Communicator. Part three (and the scariest) Video

The EPSCoR Becoming the Messenger workshop was really incredibly useful and insightful! I only wish I had more time to work through all the topics we discussed. It was a whirl wind experience and one I hope to not forget anytime soon. Here without final ado is...

The final reflection. - video.

The video section was perhaps the most useful and the most embarrassing. It's amazing today how easy it is to make a video. If you've been following our blog you've seen a few of my attempts already. However at the meeting we got some great tips on how to make them look much more professional... with only the use of a phone or flip cam. Once again the layout was the same. Have a strong message with three pillars to really hold it up. Once you've got your message and structure you also need a call to action and of course some visual support. I found it interesting how this call to action was really related to letting your audience in, making them feel that they have a stake in this to and can do something about it.

All of these public out reach forums are things that as a scientist one never thinks they are going to do. One does not go into science to start a blog or become a celebrity and talk with news outlets, but it is something that I'm finding is really important. We become scientist, for the most part, because we love to figure things out and want to understand the world around us. But it is so important for us to also be able to show and communicate our results to the larger community. I suppose that means that at least to a certain degree I better get use to hearing my own voice or seeing myself in a video.

In the task given to us we were asked to film our message in three shots, an opening statement in a wide shot, our three main points in a tight shot, and then our closing statement in a wide shot. As you can see we didn't quiet make that.

The opening statement was suppose to pull the audience in. Thus my attempt at a funny story about how space weather gave me a snow day in school for at least one class. And that's where I then started to realise I was running out of time (we had less than 2 mins to talk). The next section was suppose to really convey concisely (not a strong point for me) what we wanted people to take away from the video. And in the closing statement, instead of rushing to a result, one is suppose to restate your message and "galvanise" your audience.

Here is my attempt. (If you notice I also took the time to add some "B-roll" of the flights of our payloads.)

And because I made you all sit and listen to me, here is a wonderful lecture  about some early astrophysics ballooning by perhaps the best physics educator ever Prof. Walter Lewin. Thank you stratocat for pointing me to this clip.