Issues Public Experts Face

Five Reasons to Pivot to Explainers

I argued yesterday that researchers and research-driven organizations are now in the explainer business — providing content that contextualizes what’s happening in the world, so that audiences can understand and respond intelligently to those events and trends.

Explainers are a business because they solve a problem and fill a gap, as Emily Gaudette put it a few months ago for Contently.…

You Are in the Explainer Business

We all agree: Researchers aren’t journalists, and research-driven organizations aren’t in the journalism business — at least as we’ve understood that business for the last century plus.

But let’s also agree that the old model of how research works with journalism — research as a kind of raw material that journalism turns into public attention and then action — is also no longer broadly viable.…

When Science is the Buzzkill

List member Stephen Wood, an applied scientist at The Nature Conservancy, sent this response to yesterday’s email (thanks to Stephen for allowing me to quote him):

Your post touches on an issue we struggle with a science group I lead: there’s lots of excitement about [what we’re working on], but many of the practices that people are excited about aren’t substantiated by much evidence.

The Problem with Storytelling (and a More Useful Concept)

​We’re awash in the industry of storytelling:

  • Storytelling consultants selling storytelling templates and workshops and webinars and books, all with guidance for the majority of us afflicted with the lack of confidence to tell compelling stories but who conveniently, it turns out, just need a little paid training to unlock and unleash the unique story within us and to recognize the great characters in our lives and turn those, too, into powerful stories, all in order to revolutionize our impact, performance and lives.