Scientists talk about their outreach experience

Note: this post is part of week 1 of the first SciFund Challenge outreach training class for scientists.

What does doing outreach mean for scientists? Who better to ask than the researchers who regularly connect to the public with science. Below you’ll find a series of videos from scientist communicators talking about their outreach experiences. The videos are short, each lasting from two to seven minutes.

Sarah Klain, University of British Columbia
Sarah has actually experienced the outreach horror story that every scientist fears. Namely, her outreach efforts unexpectedly boomeranged around in a way that directly threatened her research program. Sarah talks about this experience as well as why she still does outreach.

Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy
Phil is one of the best-known science communicators around today, as evidenced by things like his extremely-highly-read Bad Astronomy blog and his quarter million Twitter followers. Here, he talks about his science outreach journey. Be warned! Phil is funny.

Bert Gold, National Cancer Institute
Bert has been communicating science to the public for many years. In this video, he talks about his outreach journey and why he got started on it.

Caitlin Kight, University of Exeter
Caitlin has a wide outreach presence, from radio to blogs to general science writing. She talks here about her outreach career and the challenges of combining that with her research career.

Jai Ranganathan, SciFund Challenge
Jai is the author of this blog post and he enjoys writing about himself in the third person. Here he talks about why science outreach is critical to the future of science funding.

Alex Warneke, San Diego State University
Alex is one of the science bloggers at Deep Sea News and is deeply passionate about science communication. Here she talks about how and why she makes time for science outreach.

Siouxsie Wiles, University of Auckland
Siouxsie is a very visible presence in science outreach and not just because of her pink hair. Among the many science communication activities with which she is active, she blogs, podcasts, is involved with animation, and speaks on radio and television. In this video, Siouxsie describes how she started on her outreach path and her one negative outreach experience.

Dr. David Sloan Wilson and Hadassah Head, Binghamton University, State University of New York
David and Hadassah engage in outreach on many levels, including writing an online science magazine (This View of Life), science podcasting, and outreach projects in their local community. Here they discuss the importance of science outreach.

And in a second video, David and Hadassah talk about their local outreach projects (including the Binghamton Neighborhood Project).

Kara Woo, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Kara blogs at Lake Baikal Dimensions of Biodiversity. Here she shares her enthusiasm for science outreach and how she has personally benefitted from it.


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