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JohnD
2008-Aug-12, 10:42 PM
All,

I am being upbraded for suggesting that picture captions on certain Space Exoploration websiteare less interesting than on others. Further, that I suggest that the scientists doing the captions should be chosen for their journalism skills.

Rather than go on arguing, I'll abide by the majority.

Please vote now!

John

WaxRubiks
2008-Aug-12, 11:19 PM
I think the more skills someone has, the better, but I think that a person should be chosen for their scientific skills, in a scientific context.

Drunk Vegan
2008-Aug-13, 02:02 AM
I think that a scientist should have some level of public relations skill. Or at the least somebody working on the project he's leading should.

It's hard to gain public acceptance and support for new discoveries when the only information released about it is in technical scientific journals.

A good press release goes a long way towards ensuring future donations and taxes paid to science grants from the government.

Swift
2008-Aug-13, 02:41 AM
I think Drunk Vegan and Frog march and I are on the same page, but we just phrase it a little differently. I think scientists should have good communications skills: both written and verbal, and with fellow scientists and the general public. I have commented in another thread about scientific illiteracy in the general population, and I think scientists communicating what they do to the general public goes a long way to combating that.

Jens
2008-Aug-13, 02:42 AM
Or at the least somebody working on the project he's leading should.


That's what I'd say. I don't see a reason for individual scientists to have journalistic skills, but for example, universities or research organizations should have staff who do have those skills. Division of labor type thing. Similarly, editors of scientific journals should preferably have editing skills. :)

Neverfly
2008-Aug-13, 05:11 AM
Now make a poll asking if reporters should have scientific skills.

mike alexander
2008-Aug-13, 05:54 AM
But most important is having frizzy hair, thick glasses, a hunchback and a thick European accent when speaking English.

And a disintegrator beam. People listen when you have a disintegrator beam.

WaxRubiks
2008-Aug-13, 06:47 AM
journalistic skills=being able to make puns


so yes, definitely.

Tog
2008-Aug-13, 07:44 AM
The people writing the captions should have journalism skills.
Should scientists be the ones writing the captions?

I'm sort of hoping for a reversal of the current trend and getting journalists with journalism skills. Read that Again :whistle: (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/58911-read-again.html)

djellison
2008-Aug-13, 11:21 AM
Each mission and each instrument should have scientifically aware persons with journalistic abilities on their team.

Each and every scientists, per se, shouldn't have to have journalistic abilities - although it can help.

Doug

ryanmercer
2008-Aug-14, 01:04 AM
I think to some extent, yes.

Elenwen
2008-Aug-14, 06:11 PM
The people writing the captions should have journalism skills.
Should scientists be the ones writing the captions?

I'm sort of hoping for a reversal of the current trend and getting journalists with journalism skills. Read that Again :whistle: (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/58911-read-again.html)

I agree with you wholeheartedly.

X-COM
2008-Aug-15, 12:04 PM
Now make a poll asking if reporters should have scientific skills.

They indeed should and a journalist covering science subjects even more so, maybe even a degree or two would help there. If you do not know what you are talking about, keep quiet.

KaiYeves
2008-Aug-15, 12:32 PM
And a disintegrator beam. People listen when you have a disintegrator beam.
Because they are afraid you will disintegrate them with it.

djellison
2008-Aug-15, 01:10 PM
I tell you what is more important than Journalistic skills. Just presentation skills, a bit of hollywood about them. Steve Squyres is VERY good infront of an audience - very VERY good. I've seen him compress hundreds of sols of science into the most captivating, funny, inspiring and engaging hour long talk I've ever seen.

Jim Bell is also very good at this, and so is Brian Cox ( of CERN fame ). Burt Rutan has it as well. Check out some of the lectures at ted.com to see how this can be done - and hunt for some of Steve's stuff on Youtube ( such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOv4LnAt01E )

Doug

trinitree88
2008-Aug-24, 06:44 PM
But most important is having frizzy hair, thick glasses, a hunchback and a thick European accent when speaking English.

And a disintegrator beam. People listen when you have a disintegrator beam.

Mike. Good one...:lol: pete.....the current world dilemma stems from people wanting to make more disintegrator bombs...though I think I recall a chemical laser burning through tank armor in a few seconds at ~ 6 kms.:shifty:

ravens_cry
2008-Aug-24, 07:01 PM
But most important is having frizzy hair, thick glasses, a hunchback and a thick European accent when speaking English.

And a disintegrator beam. People listen when you have a disintegrator beam.

Do you mind if I use the last line in my signiture? it is just priceless!

Occam
2008-Aug-24, 08:06 PM
I think it would be nice if journalists had some.

JohnD
2008-Aug-25, 10:34 AM
OK,
Poll closed (not by me, but you can't leave these things for ever)
And the result?
50/50 split!

So chair's casting vote - from me!
Scientists DO need journalism skills!

John

jokergirl
2008-Aug-25, 11:42 AM
As a scientist you should have the skill to communicate your findings clearly and understandably (at least to a sufficiently informed public).

This does not mean that you should be great at setting yourself in the limelight, or write pop sci articles for fun, but you should at least be able to "dumb down" your field of study well enough to make a readable article for someone interested in your topic.

Or so I learned in engineering school, anyway...

;)

Tog
2008-Aug-25, 04:02 PM
This weeks "Partially Clips (http://www.partiallyclips.com/pclipslite.php?id=1569)" seemed pretty relevant to this thread.

Link is work safe and dial up friendly. Might be best not to wander.

Drunk Vegan
2008-Aug-25, 05:04 PM
IMO one of the most obvious signs that somebody understands something is the ability to take the most complicated aspect of it and simplify it in their description in such a way that anyone else can understand it, if only by analogy.

Journalists however tend to report on subjects on which they have absolutely no understanding, misinterpret what they're reading, and then create a simpler version for their readers that is either slightly inaccurate or completely ignorant.

So yeah, I think it's worthwhile for a science team to have someone who can serve as a liason to the press, making sure that they get the facts right.