For UW-Madison Readers: Talk on Framing and the Marketing Problem in Science

This blog has a ton of readers from the Madison, Wisconsin area. It's not surprising given that the university town is a major international hub for interest in science communication and public affairs.

For Madison-area readers, tonight offers a great opportunity to discuss first hand many of the research principles and arguments that have been made here at Framing Science. My colleague Dietram Scheufele will be giving a presentation titled "Does Science Have a Marketing Problem? The Convergence of Science, Policy & Communication."

Scheufele is a professor of Life Sciences Communication at Wisconsin and co-authored with me last year's cover article at The Scientist magazine (PDF). Details are below. If you can make the presentation and discussion, I can guarantee you it will be well worth it. And following the talk, feel free to log on and leave your thoughts in this comment space.


UW Life Sciences Communication Forum
Special Interests
Lecture series, "Does Science Have a Marketing Problem? The Convergence of Science, Policy & Communication," by Prof. Dietram Scheufele

When: 08/07/08 @ 7:00pm
Cost: Room 1100
Call: 262-1464
Web: www.dietramscheufele.com/sforumsch.pdf
Email: scheufele@wisc.edu

More Information:
Summer 2008
Tuesday/Thursday
7:00-8pm
1100 Grainger

Google co-founder Larry Page last year bluntly told scientists that they have "a serious marketing problem." While his keynote speech was meant to be provocative his point is well taken. Scientistsoften have a hard time connecting with the general public about the importance of their findings and their relevance for their everyday lives. And this gap widens as new technologies raise ethical, legal, and societal questions for which we have no easy answers. How do we balance the sanctity of life with the great promise of stem cell research? Does the economic and scientific potential of nanotechnology outweigh potential unknown risks? And how can scientists get their information across in public discourse without engaging in public relations wars with interest groups or partisan players in the policy arena?

These issues are not trivial ones. Many citizens look at emerging technologies, such as stem cell research or nanotechnology, as much more than scientific issues. In fact, emerging technologies often have social, legal and ethical implications that many citizens see as much more important than scientific aspects when forming attitudes about science policy and funding. Unfortunately, scientists all too often reject such concerns as irrelevant to the scientific debate and blame them on a lack of understanding of the technical and regulatory facts related to nanotech.

This forum brings together bloggers, scientists, journalists, and social scientists to brainstorm solutions to the marketing problem Larry Page talked about. We will hear from people in policy, media, and academe about campaigns and outreach efforts that worked, issues that remain unresolved, and broader implications for Wisconsin and beyond.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less
Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

Keep reading Show less

The culprit of increased depression among teens? Smartphones, new research suggests.

A new study, led by psychologist Jean Twenge, points to the screen as the problem.

A teenager eyes her smartphone as people enjoy a warm day on the day of silence, one day prior to the presidential elections, when candidates and political parties are not allowed to voice their political meaning on April 14, 2018 in Kotor, Montenegro. Citizens from Montenegro, the youngest NATO member, will vote for a new president on Sunday 15 2018. (Photo by Pierre Crom/Getty Images)
Surprising Science
  • In a new study, adolescents and young adults are experiencing increased rates of depression and suicide attempts.
  • The data cover the years 2005–2017, tracking perfectly with the introduction of the iPhone and widespread dissemination of smartphones.
  • Interestingly, the highest increase in depressive incidents was among individuals in the top income bracket.
Keep reading Show less

U.S. reacts to New Zealand's gun ban

On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
  • Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
  • The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
Keep reading Show less