You can lead them to water…


But can you make them think?

I’m delighted speak to the folks at US Fish & Wildlife Service today (April 25, 2017) on the topic of science communication.

Truth is, I’m honored to be invited.

Most people’s eyes glaze over when they learn that I teach, study and talk about…science.

So it’s a real treat to speak with folks who have already tasted the Kool-Aid.

I’ve learned that, in order to engage someone’s attention, I need to trick them by camouflaging science.

I know that sounds weird, and you may be thinking:

My expertise is science, and you’re telling me not to talk about science?

I hope this isn’t an awful betrayal, so let me give you five lessons that you may find useful when approaching audiences about the scientific side of life.

Lesson 1. We often misunderstand what someone else is asking and sometimes we hear what we want to hear.

Lesson 2. When we contrast scientific views against anti-scientific views, we have nowhere to go: the conversation reaches a dead-end.

Lesson 3. Sometimes it’s not about science.

Lesson 4. We all suffer from cognitive bias and we don’t see the full picture when we make decisions.

Lesson 5. Tell a story.

Today I will flesh in the details of the lessons at the keynote talk.


Stay tuned.

24 April 2017





About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
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