Moving from Expert to Public Expert

Occupy their Expert Heuristics

How do we know which public expert to trust? It’s the one that looks and sounds like the one we would trust, of course. The one that occupies our public expert heuristics.

Flo Débarre, an evolutionary ecologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research, tweeted the following last month in the wake of a letter in Science signed by 18 scientists calling for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19:

Débarre’s is a common scientist position — what a shame scientists let such non-scientific factors such as name recognition and hero worship obscure scientific merit.…

Your 30-Second Memory Maker

What’s the most underrated communications skill?

The ability to make a memory in someone else.

To plant something that sprouts up, again and again, nagging or nourishing them.

We remember beginnings and endingsespecially endings.

The next time you’re hosting a call with researchers, or a panel of them, say: “We’ve got about a minute left — any last thoughts?”…

Scientific Trust vs. Public Expertise?

Is there a conflict between a) making a public pledge about the goals you’re pursuing as an expert and b) being true to the scientific pursuit?

If there were, would it matter?

David Chapin, list member and CEO of Forma Life Sciences Marketing, sent this response to my email last Tuesday on setting a course for your public expertise:

This dichotomy (between stating your goals and staying true to the supposed core tenet of science — which is that we’ll only follow the facts, and not be twisted by confirmation bias) seems pretty significant to me.

How to Become a Public Expert

Most experts struggle to define what their expertise means publicly.

Which means the public struggles to understand most experts’ value.

By “means publicly,” I don’t mean “how other experts define your expertise.” I mean: how you as an expert translate your expertise into something the public can understand and use — solutions, a paradigm, a new frame that addresses a challenge the public cares about (or should).…

Thought Leadership: A Useful Definition

“Thought leadership” is like sardines: often mediocre, terrible reputation but amazing and great for you if sourced and prepared properly.

Of course, that’s not the marketing campaign you’d want for what is — and let’s face both parts of this — an atrociously named but essential content genre experts use to communicate with the rest of us.…

Eight Myths of Thought Leadership

There are more than eight, of course. But these are the ones I encounter most often:

Thought leadership is about getting your audiences to think differently. It’s much more about getting you in the habit of thinking differently — about the intersection of your expertise and the world, what your arguments and POV really are, whether they hold water, how you’ll revise them in response to criticism and how you are going to listen as deeply to your audiences as you want them to listen to you.…