Our Project Featured on Randy Olson's blog!
I had a bit of a fan girl moment last week when I got the chance to speak with Randy Olson about our project. He's the author of "Don't Be Such a Scientist," one of the books that inspired the founders to create the Engage Program. I've taught his stuff for years, so it was a trip to get to tell him what we're working on and earn his approval.
At one point in our conversation, Randy lamented the situation that so many of us science communicators find ourselves in: we really do have a hard time convincing university faculty that communication training for graduate students is worthwhile. They often think it's a waste of time, that scientists shouldn't have to communicate their work to a general audience, and that their students should spend more time in the lab working on their publications. I can't tell you how many people I've run into who think we need to just give up on these silverbacks, that they'll never be convinced. Randy told me that his friend at AAAS says “We are going to win this communications struggle one retirement at a time.”
But I told him that here at the University of Washington, our energetic and ambitious group is rising to the challenge. He came up with the word: rebellion. We're not asking for permission or waiting for the system to change, we're changing it ourselves. And we've seen it working! We've earned the endorsement of the Seattle community and University of Washington leaders, and I've even seen some of the silverbacks I work with changing their minds about this whole newfangled science communication thing.
Check out what Randy had to say about us. And join the rebellion! Donate to our project or share with your colleagues (only 16 days to go!)