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Communicating with the Media

A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Media

With the end goal of promoting accurate and timely media coverage of important scientific developments, the Sound Science Initiative held a special seminar designed to help scientists interact effectively with the media. The seminar, How Scientist's Can Work Effectively with the Media, was based on the book A Scientist's Guide to Talking With the Media; the live event took place on September 21, 2006. The seminar included a PowerPoint presentation and audio discussion by the authors, including a question and answer period for participants. We invite you to listen to the event at your convenience and view the PowerPoint presentation.

Listen to the Audio 
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Download the PowerPoint Presentation

In their recently released book, A Scientist’s Guide to Talking with the Media: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists, UCS Media Director Rich Hayes and his co-author science journalist Dan Grossman discuss the gulf between scientists and the media.

While it can be a challenge for these two worlds to work together, it is essential that accurate scientific information be communicated effectively to the public through the media. In their research, the authors surveyed and interviewed scores of scientists and dozens of the nation’s top science reporters. Richard and Daniel walk the reader through the often difficult intersection of science and the fast-paced world of media and journalists. The authors provide tips on how to translate abstract concepts into concrete metaphors, craft sound bites, and prepare for interviews. For those looking for a higher profile, the authors explain how to become a reporter’s trusted source—the first card in the Rolodex—on controversial issues.

About the Authors
A Scientist’s Guide to Talking with the Media: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists was written by Richard Hayes and Daniel Grossman. Hayes is media director of the Union of Concerned Scientists, where for more than a dozen years he has helped scientists across the country become more effective with the press. Hayes was previously a reporter for a bipartisan caucus in the U.S. Congress, where he also coordinated a task force on climate science. Daniel Grossman is an award-winning science journalist and former reporter for National Public Radio’s show on the environment, “Living on Earth.” He has written for publications such as the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Scientific American. He has also taught science journalism at the Boston University School of Journalism.


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