Public Expertise for Research Organizations

The Problems with Training

There are two kinds of research organizational leaders: those who want communications training for their organization’s researchers, and those who don’t believe training works.

Here’s the weird thing: More often than you’d think, they’re the same person.

The typical communications workshop for researchers can yield non-communication benefits (increasing cohort cohesion, making researchers feel more valued or improving a specific talk or presentation).…

My Conversation with Amy Dickman

It’s the latest episode of Science+Story the Podcast— and a fantastic conversation with this lion conservation scientist on getting death threats from trophy hunting opponents (including celebrities) and the false choice between evidence & emotion in science communication.

You’ll learn why Amy thinks wildlife conservation in Africa can’t be self-sustaining within the next 20 years; how she set up a conservation project among Tanzania natives who’d felt burned by previous conservation projects (and couldn’t really understand what an unmarried white woman was doing there); and how big NGOs are frightened to share the bad news and complexity of conservation (to her chagrin).…

Research Authority: Make Them Subjectively Competent

The best fundraiser I’ve known is a scientist, and he’s the best fundraiser for two reasons: 1) Donors love talking to a world-class scientist as opposed to a professional fundraiser, and 2) he quickly makes the relationship about the donors — their interests, their curiosity, their knowledge, their empowerment — rather than his expertise.…

Say What the Evidence Means

List member David Chapin, CEO of Forma Life Science Marketing, responds to my post on why researchers need to call it early more often with some understanding and some tough love takeaways:

One thing that your thinking, and those of the experts you cite, makes clear to me is that science, with its “peer-reviewed, make it impervious to attack” attitude, doesn’t work really well in the VERY short term.

Calling It Early: Make it Easier for Your Experts

The odd but oddly satisfying thing about “How the West Lost COVID,” New York Magazine writer David Wallace-Wells’ magisterial and muddled new overview of pandemic response failures in the United States and Europe, is that you’ll probably come away from it far less certain about how “the West lost COVID” than you were going in.…