On the Road to the University of Washington
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
Tomorrow at the University of Washington I will be speaking to the Department of Communication in the morning and then joined in the evening by Chris Mooney to deliver our Speaking Science 2.0 lecture. In the afternoon, we will also be hosting a discussion with graduate students on the topic of "When Science Turns Political..."
The events are sponsored by the Forum on Science, Ethics, and Policy (FOSEP) and the Pacific Institute. The evening talk at the Pacific Science Center, free and open to the public, starts at 7pm (details on the full day's events).
Using the anniversary of Sputnik as the hook, Thomas Robey, past director of FOSEP, has an op-ed in the Seattle Post Intelligencer today, emphasizing the importance of science communication and plugging Friday's talk. Here's how Robey closes the article:
Sputnik circled the planet for only three months. By the time the beach ball-size piece of metal disintegrated in the atmosphere, scientists occupied seats at the tables where policy decisions were forged. Science first informed national defense, then the quest for better health. Add to those today's challenges of energy use and climate change and the incentive to do good science and for it to inform decisions in politics has never been greater. Each of us -- scientists and others -- must engage the future with our ideas, our resources and our imagination.
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.
- How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
- To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
- The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
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