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Scientific communication

Ginger R Fisher, Jeffrey T Olimpo, Thomas M McCabe, Ryan S Pevey
Evidence indicates that students who participate in scientific research during their undergraduate experience are more likely to pursue careers in the STEM disciplines and to develop increased scientific reasoning and literacy skills. One avenue to increase student engagement in research is via their enrollment in course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), where they are able to conduct authentic research as part of the laboratory curriculum. The information presented herein provides an example of a CURE which was developed and implemented in an introductory cell and molecular biology course at the University of Northern Colorado...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Jeffrey T Olimpo, Ruth Rodriguez, Vanessa L Lougheed, Craig E Tweedie
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Jason A Tetro
For effective science communication, three general objectives should be taken into consideration: 1) accurate conveyance of the scientific evidence; 2) warm public reception of the communicator; and 3) alignment of the information with social values. An examination of both successful and failed science communication efforts over the course of history can reveal strategies to better meet these objectives. This article looks back at influential moments of science communication over the past two millennia in the context of the objectives and, using lessons learned from these events as a guide, introduces a five-element approach to improve the potential for attaining the objectives...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Beverly L Smith-Keiling, Lidia K Swanson, Joanne M Dehnbostel
In seeking to support diversity, one challenge lies in adequately supporting and assessing science cognitions in a writing-intensive Biochemistry laboratory course when highly engaged Asian English language learners (Asian ELLs) struggle to communicate and make novice errors in English. Because they may understand advanced science concepts, but are not being adequately assessed for their deeper scientific understanding, we sought and examined interventions. We hypothesized that inquiry strategies, scaffolded learning through peer evaluation, and individualized tools that build writing communication skills would increase confidence...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Beth Beason-Abmayr, Jennifer Shade Wilson
Although abundant evidence in STEM education literature emphasizes the incorporation of both primary literature analysis and communication of science into the undergraduate classroom, biology educators are rarely given the necessary support to teach students how to present scientific data from primary literature. Consequently, students often receive limited training in this valuable skill. We report on a collaboration between a biosciences instructor and communication center director who together designed a workshop to teach undergraduate students in a laboratory course to present material from primary literature sources...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Cynthia Taylor, Bryan M Dewsbury
The language of science is largely metaphorical. Scientists rely on metaphor and analogy to make sense of scientific phenomena and communicate their findings to each other and to the public. Yet, despite their utility, metaphors can also constrain scientific reasoning, contribute to public misunderstandings, and, at times, inadvertently reinforce stereotypes and messages that undermine the goals of inclusive science. This paper 1) examines the generative potential of metaphors to the advancement of scientific knowledge and science communication, 2) highlights the ways in which outdated metaphors may limit scientific inquiry and contribute to public misunderstandings, and 3) critically analyzes the implications of cryptic social and political messages embedded in common metaphors in the life sciences...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Jeanine Elise Aune, Lynn Lundy Evans, Nancy Boury
The nature of science (NOS) is a foundational framework for understanding scientific ideas and concepts. This framework includes scientific methodology, the process of revising and interpreting data, and the ways in which science is a social endeavor. Nature of science literature treats science as a way of knowing that is based on observable phenomenon. While discipline-specific coursework teaches the factual information of science, it may fall short on teaching scientific literacy, a key component of which is understanding NOS...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Adriana Bankston, Gary S McDowell
Being successful in an academic environment places many demands on junior scientists. Science communication currently may not be adequately valued and rewarded, and yet communication to multiple audiences is critical for ensuring that it remains a priority in today's society. Due to the potential for science communication to produce better scientists, facilitate scientific progress, and influence decision-making at multiple levels, training junior scientists in both effective and ethical science communication practices is imperative, and can benefit scientists regardless of their chosen career path...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Christopher T Parker, Debbie Cockerham, Ann W Foss
The need for science education and outreach is great. However, despite the ever-growing body of available scientific information, facts are often misrepresented to or misunderstood by the general public. This can result in uninformed decisions that negatively impact society at both individual and community levels. One solution to this problem is to make scientific information more available to the public through outreach programs. Most outreach programs, however, focus on health initiatives, STEM programs, or young audiences exclusively...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Susan Rowland, James Hardy, Kay Colthorpe, Rhianna Pedwell, Louise Kuchel
The ability to communicate is a crucial graduate outcome for science students; however, crowded curricula and large class sizes make it difficult to find time to explicitly teach foundational communication skills. In response to these challenges, we developed an online resource called Communication Learning in Practice for Scientists, or CLIPS. CLIPS provides a multi-point mentoring model that has allowed us to successfully integrate the teaching and learning of a complex set of tacitly-understood skills across multiple scientific disciplines...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
April Killikelly
Traditional modes of communication within the scientific community, including presentation of data at conferences and in peer-reviewed publications, use technical jargon that limits public engagement. While altering word choice is an important method for increasing public engagement, the data itself may not be enough. For example, communicating the lack of evidence that vaccines cause autism did not convince many reluctant parents to vaccinate their kids (Nyhan, Reifler, Richey, Freed, Pediatrics 133:e835-e842, 2014)...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Kayleigh O'Keeffe, Reggie Bain
The ability of scientists to effectively communicate their research, and scientific ideas in general, with a variety of audiences is critical in both academic and non-academic careers. There is currently a dearth of formal and informal science communication training opportunities for graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This curriculum paper introduces ComSciCon-Triangle, a graduate student-organized science communication workshop for graduate students in STEM at research universities in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, region...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Wendy L Clement, Kathryn T Elliott, Okxana Cordova-Hoyos, Isabel Distefano, Kate Kearns, Raagni Kumar, Ashley Leto, Janis Tumaliuan, Lauren Franchetti, Evelyn Kulesza, Nicole Tineo, Patrice Mendes, Karen Roth, Jeffrey M Osborn
Communicating about science with the public can present a number of challenges, from participation to engagement to impact. In an effort to broadly communicate messages regarding biodiversity, evolution, and tree-thinking with the campus community at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), a public, primarily undergraduate institution, we created a campus-wide, science-themed meal, "Tasting the Tree of Life: Exploring Biodiversity through Cuisine." We created nine meals that incorporated 149 species/ingredients across the Tree of Life...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Teresa J Mayfield, Jeffrey T Olimpo, Kevin W Floyd, Eli Greenbaum
Scientists are increasingly called upon to communicate with the public, yet most never receive formal training in this area. Public understanding is particularly critical to maintaining support for undervalued resources such as biological collections, research data repositories, and expensive equipment. We describe activities carried out in an inquiry-driven organismal biology laboratory course designed to engage a diverse student body using biological collections. The goals of this cooperative learning experience were to increase students' ability to locate and comprehend primary research articles, and to communicate the importance of an undervalued scientific resource to nonscientists...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Susanna Greer, Hannah Alexander, Thomas O Baldwin, Hudson H Freeze, Morgan Thompson, Geoffrey Hunt, Danielle R Snowflack
Effective communication is a requisite skill for scientists. However, formalized training in this area is often unavailable for members of the scientific community. As one approach to combat this problem, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) developed The Art of Science Communication, an eight-week-long online course that provides facilitated instruction on how to communicate science in an oral format. The course is offered three times a year, and as of December 2017, nearly 200 individuals from all career stages have taken part in it...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Ines Rauschenbach, Ramaydalis Keddis, Diane Davis
We have redesigned a tried-and-true laboratory exercise into an inquiry-based team activity exploring microbial growth control, and implemented this activity as the basis for preparing a scientific poster in a large, multi-section laboratory course. Spanning most of the semester, this project culminates in a poster presentation of data generated from a student-designed experiment. Students use and apply the scientific method and improve written and verbal communication skills. The guided inquiry format of this exercise provides the opportunity for student collaboration through cooperative learning...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Melissa McCartney, Chazman Childers, Rachael R Baiduc, Kitch Barnicle
Formal training in communicating science to a general audience is not traditionally included in graduate and postdoctoral-level training programs. However, the ability to effectively communicate science is increasingly recognized as a responsibility of professional scientists. We describe a science communication professional development opportunity in which scientists at the graduate-level and above annotate primary scientific literature, effectively translating complex research into an accessible educational tool for undergraduate students...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Johanna M Schwingel
Scientific terminology presents an obstacle to effective communication with nonscientific audiences. To overcome this obstacle, biology majors in a general microbiology elective completed a project involving two different audiences: a scientific audience of their peers and a general, nonscientific audience. First, students presented an overview of a primary research paper and the significance of its findings to a general, nonscientific audience in an elevator-type talk. This was followed by a peer interview with a student in a journalism course, in which the biology students needed to comprehend the article to effectively communicate it to the journalism students, and the journalism students needed to ask questions about an unfamiliar, technical topic...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Nicholas M Ponzio, Janet Alder, Mary Nucci, David Dannenfelser, Holly Hilton, Nikolaos Linardopoulos, Carol Lutz
Doctoral students in science disciplines spend countless hours learning how to conduct cutting-edge research but very little time learning to communicate the nature and significance of their science to people outside their field. To narrow this disparity, we created an unusual course titled Communicating Science for doctoral science trainees at Rutgers University. Our goal was to help students develop an advanced ability to communicate their research clearly and accurately and to emphasize its value and significance to diverse audiences...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
Thomas Edison E Dela Cruz, Jeane V Aril-Dela Cruz
The use of graphical illustration in lecture presentations can make a seemingly boring lesson more attractive and enticing to students. Creating science-themed illustrations and science-based narratives can also lead to creative and critical thinking among students. We used writing editorials and creating editorial cartoons as a learning activity to promote critical thinking and creative skills that are essential in communicating scientific information. This activity can be used with a range of audiences, at various educational levels and in basic to advanced courses...
2018: Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education: JMBE
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