Sunday, January 26, 2014

Introductions - Patrice

Nice meeting all of you on Friday. Everyone reflected so thoughtfully on the seminar as it relates to their own academic interests. I sense the caliber of the instructors and students in this seminar will keep me on my toes.

I’m a first year School of Journalism and Mass Communication Ph.D student. I learned about STS last semester and it really struck a chord with me. I used to write about natural sciences as a reporter and work with researchers on science communication outreach projects. Among researchers, I encountered a wide range in willingness to communicate with the public and in ideas about when, how or even whether uncertainties in data should be publically discussed. I’m interested in how interactions between credentialed experts (i.e. researchers), experience-based experts and the general public influence the problems answered and methods used by researchers. For the class research/review project, I’m thinking about exploring some version of the following question:

When a researcher doubles as a science communicator by, for example, producing a podcast, Tumblr or blog for the general public, how does explaining research in their field influence the questions they become interested in or how they reflect on their own practices?

I welcome any related ideas anyone has to share!

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