Behind the Scenes: Communicating the Science of GMOs

Back in 2015, the Pew Research Center conducted a study on opinion differences between scientists and the public. Basically, they wanted to get a sense for scientists’ views on society compared to the broader public. Where did the opinions radically differ? Coming in at number one, with the dubious distinction of largest discrepancy between scientists’…

Against the Odds: A Path Forward for Rural America

Against the Odds is a powerful firsthand account of life in rural America that offers a broad, probing look at the environmental tensions surrounding the collapse of many of our rural resource communities. Read more on Amazon… People talk a lot about working across differences. But sometimes, in some situations, I wonder if they’ve really…

You listen to who you know

Class started at 10:30 in the morning. I faced my students, coffee cup in hand. They were hard to read, but they always are early in the semester. We are still feeling each other out, unsure how much confidence to grant one another, wondering if there’s a space for trust. Do they really want to…

A Simple Six-Step Communication Guide

On the first day of the semester, the teacher steps in the door and walks to the front of the class. He or she hands out the syllabus and goes through it with the student. Do this, this, this and this. Don’t do that, that, that or that. The students all nod, the teacher says,…

The Case for Creativity

Last year, I went to the Creativity Workshop. And I know what you’re thinking. Seriously? That’s a thing? Yeah, it is. Amongst many other activities, we learned how to relax, practice free association and how to sketch out our thoughts using images and colors. We practiced perceiving things in our environment that we normally overlooked,…

Scientific Blogging 101 – A Sit Down with the Experts: Part 1

Originally posted on Climate Footnotes:
This is the first installment of a two part series where I sit down with seasoned bloggers to understand more about the world of scientific blogging. And today we have with us Jessica Eise. Jessica is an author and researcher. She works on pressing social, economic and scientific issues that…

Breaking up with Facebook

I quit Facebook this week. It was quite an event. The reasons are, naturally, manifold and complex, as in any break-up. I stared at the screen forlornly, wishing it wasn’t so, and then proceeded to jump through the tricky steps toward true deletion. No break-up is clean and simple, is it? Facebook didn’t want me…

You’ve Been Replaced, Professor

DATE: November 7, 2064 SUBJECT: Letter of Termination Dear Dr. Smith, We are deeply saddened to inform you that your tenure as Professor at our university has come to an end. As of December 18, 2064, your position will be eliminated.

Clinging to hope as the clock ticks down

A government is made up of institutions. Those institutions are made up of people. Regular ol’ people who get tired, frustrated and burnt out. People who haul their butts to the office to keep things cranking, even when our Congress decides to cease paying them for weeks on end. Most of them are under too…

A letter from your future grandchild about your car

  October 4, 2086 Dear Grandma and Grandpa, Sorry I haven’t written in ages. I tried to call you guys like six times on 3-D but you always have it turned off. In my history class we’re studying the turn of the millennium. Our final assignment is an analysis of human-driven cars. I’d like to incorporate…

Some things you can’t measure

Columbia University conducted a 573-page report entitled Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap between Science and Practice. This in-depth study’s major takeaway is that, for the extreme severity of the affliction and the prevalence of it in our society, addiction is grossly under-treated. On page 133 of said study, under the section “Most People in Need of Treatment…

so we’re a polarized nation. Now what?

Half of Democrats say they are ‘afraid’ of the Republican Party, and half of Republicans express the same feelings towards the Democratic Party. Majorities on both sides hold not just unfavorable, but very unfavorable views of the other party (Pew Research Center). Society is polarized, divided and in opposition. This isn’t news. And like any…