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Showing Up to Shape the Science March

Megan K. HalpernMar 23, 2017

Embracing multiple meanings and shared experiences strengthens the call to action.

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March Mammal Madness, Science Communication’s “Big Dance,” Is Back

David ShiffmanMar 6, 2017

The annual Twitter event returns with 64 mammal species ready to fight to the virtual death for your entertainment and education.

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News Flash: Science Has Always Been Political

Adam ShapiroFeb 21, 2017

The March for Science has reignited an old debate about the nature of objectivity and scientific authority.

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Using Twitter Hashtags for Science Education

David ShiffmanFeb 7, 2017

#CougarOrNot, #NotACopperhead, #DamOrNot, and #ButtOfWhat open up conversations about the joys and challenges of walking in an ecologist’s shoes (or… hiking boots).

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The Benefits of Twitter for Scientists

David ShiffmanJan 13, 2017

A new study suggests Twitter activity is correlated with higher citation rates, at least for ecological research. But that doesn't mean scientists should necessarily expect a Twitter account to bring them more citations. What benefits can researchers expect from a presence on social media?

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Moving Beyond Impasse in Climate Change Communications

Katie L. BurkeOct 26, 2016

If you’re considering how to write for, speak to, or have conversations with those who may be resistant to the idea that climate change is happening and is caused by human activities, here is an overview of communication ideas that the climate change literature has explored so far.

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Stop Using the Word Pseudoscience

Katie L. BurkeAug 25, 2016

The term lacks a coherent meaning and leads to unnecessary polarization, mistrust, disrespectfulness, and confusion around science issues.

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The Evolution of the 21st-Century Scientist

Brian KurillaAug 12, 2016

As more trained scientists leave traditional career paths, the distinction between scientist and nonscientist blurs.

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The World of Science Blogging

Paige JarreauJun 27, 2016

What do people blog about, why do people write for blogs, and who reads them?

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12 Tips for Scientists Writing for the General Public

Katie L. BurkeJul 31, 2015

Learning the principles of journalistic nonfiction often requires scientist authors to step away from an academic writing style that has come to feel intuitive. Nevertheless, using these principles can make the scientist’s work more relatable, memorable, and trusted.

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The Power of the Little Guy

Fenella SaundersJul 14, 2015

Inventor Dean Kamen is resolved to engineer clean water for the entire world, and he might just do it. Included is a clip from the documentary SlingShot about Kamen's latest invention.

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May Berenbaum on the New U. S. Strategy to Promote Pollinator Health

Heather ThorstensenJun 19, 2015

The recipient of Sigma Xi’s 2015 John P. McGovern Science and Society Award, entomologist May Berenbaum, has been called on as a public expert on honeybees. She shares her thoughts with Heather Thorstensen, Sigma Xi’s manager of communications, on the recently released—and the first—National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.

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6 Misconceptions About Saving the Bees

Kaitlin Stack WhitneyJun 16, 2015

As an insect ecologist, the driving force behind my career choices is to conserve insects and biodiversity, but I often feel like those who sound the call to “Save the bees!” are missing the point. In honor of National Pollinator Week, I’d like to add some nuance that seems to be missing from the conversation so far, particularly with regard to pollinators and pesticides.

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The Coriolis and the Commode

Tom Di LibertoJun 15, 2015

Paired videos recently debuted on two well-known science YouTube channels. I saw the title, “The Truth about Toilet Swirl,” and I was intrigued. So I clicked. My first thought was incredulity, followed by many more thoughts best described as expressing a healthy dose of skepticism. There was no way Earth’s rotation was moving water in something as tiny as a 1.5 meter kiddie pool by way of the Coriolis effect. Or was there?

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The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters: The Brain During Depression

Katie L. Burke, Jagmeet MacMay 18, 2015

Neuroscientist Ahmad Hariri explains how the watchdog of the brain—the amygdala—is overactive in those with depression and anxiety.

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Describing Applicants in Gendered Language Might Influence Academic Science Hiring

Wendy M. Williams, Stephen J. CeciMay 7, 2015

We recently published an article about the results of a 4.5-year program of research on gender’s influence on faculty hiring preferences for tenure-track STEM assistant professorships. Our methods brought up an interesting issue about the types of adjectives used to describe job applicants, one that we did not have space to address in the paper.

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5 Reasons to Teach Mathematical Modeling

Rachel LevyMay 5, 2015

A student in one of my daughter's high school math class stood up in disgust and exclaimed "Why do we have to learn math for 12 years when we are never going to use any of it?" You might think that as a mathematics educator I would find this statement upsetting. Instead, the student’s question got me thinking about the fact that she saw no connection between the mathematics and her future. How might mathematical modeling improve the experience of mathematics for students such as the one in my daughter’s class?

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Tuck In Your Kids with Science Bedtime Stories

Fenella SaundersMay 1, 2015

When I’m putting my 3.5-year-old to bed every night, we have some down time where we just hang out on her bed together. One night I looked at her and asked, “Want me to tell you a science story?” She said, “Yes!”

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The Voodoo Science of Choosing a Successful Cover

Barbara AulicinoApr 27, 2015

Inspiration for a cover doesn’t always come right away, and at first nothing was quickening the pulse for the May–June issue of American Scientist. Although the topics themselves were compelling, consider the imagery conjured up by our feature article lineup...

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From the Archives: Scientists’ Conversations About Rachel Carson and DDT, 1944 to Today

Katie L. BurkeApr 22, 2015

It’s doubtful we would have Earth Day without Rachel Carson. Her pioneering 1962 book Silent Spring sparked the environmental movement and infused ecological ideas into mainstream thinking. So to recognize this date, I combed through the archives of American Scientist to get a sense of how scientists have discussed Carson and Silent Spring over time.

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