The State of Inclusive SciComm: A Landscape Study by Sunshine Menezes and Kaytee Canfield
The State of Inclusive SciComm: A Landscape Study by Sunshine Menezes and Kaytee Canfield


I’m super happy to be introducing dr.
sunshine Menezes who as Mona has mentioned is a former sea grant Knauss
fellow she’s currently the Executive Director for the Metcalf
Institute at the University of Rhode Island where she’s also a clinical
associate professor in environmental communication and dr. Menezes has a PhD
in biological oceanography and has spent the better for a better part of her
career engaged in science communication which has culminated in her position now
with an Metcalf and for those of you who may not be familiar with Metcalf
Metcalf Institute has a really strong reputation for training journalists
scientists and environmental communicators worldwide to better report
and engage in science and environmental issues this includes hosting the annual
inclusive SciComm symposium which focuses on how we communicate science through
the lens of equity and inclusion so in that light
dr. Menezes will be sharing with us today some of the ongoing research
looking at the landscape of inclusive science communication who’s doing it why
what are some of the challenges and opportunities in this field and then
we’ll discuss later on kind of how this will apply to some of our efforts here
at Sea Grant so with that I welcome dr. Sunshine Menezes thank you so much for
joining us today and I’ll hand it off to you now. thank you thanks so much Mona and
Meredith I very much appreciate the opportunity to be here and I especially
appreciate all of you joining us today it’s crazy out there so I’m really glad
that you’re willing to share some of your time today to learn more about this
inclusive science communication work I’m gonna share my slides here and hopefully
this will work well okay and everyone see my slides
yes good okay great wonderful so I thank you all so Meredith for explaining what
metcalf institute does that means I don’t have to so we’re at the University
of Rhode Island and we have been really trying to focus on making science
communication inclusive for a long time but we have taken a deeper dive into
this in the last few years and so I’d like to share with you what that looks
like and what we’re learning I’d also like to acknowledge that this work that
I’m going to share today has been done in in collaboration with my colleague
Kaytee Canfield who’s a postdoc at the US EPA lab here in Narragansett Rhode
Island she’s just been an incredible collaborator I also want to note that
the landscape study that I’ll be talking about was funded by the cab we funded by the Kavli Foundation and we’re grateful for their support so okay what let’s see okay good
so this all started a couple of years ago when in 2018 when Metcalf Institute
launched the inclusive SciComm symposium and you can find more about this at
InclusiveSciComm.org we decided to do this in the fall of
2018 well we started in the in the winter of 2018 really or 2017 rather
because we were recognizing that there were a number of people who were really
focusing on making their science communication efforts inclusive but they
were doing this in silos and we thought well it would be really great to bring
these people together so that many people all together can learn more about
what it means to do inclusive SciComm and recognize that there are already people
doing this and that there are good models to follow so that’s what launched
the first symposium in 2018 we had about a hundred and fifty people from all over
the country who came to that some of the people were in fact already really
leaders an inclusive SciComm others just came because they wanted to learn more
about it by day two of that one and a half day program there were so many
incredibly positive responses that we decided we were probably gonna have to
do this again even though that wasn’t actually what we were
thinking when we started. It was really just an experiment and so we did this
for the second time last fall and increased our participation by about 25
percent. We added a poster session. We added a second keynote. We really are
growing quite a bit because there’s so much interest in building this community
of people across disciplines across sectors across career stages. We really
want to learn how to do science communication in ways that are inclusive
and equitable. So, okay, um, that all led to the publication of a paper earlier this
year called this what you see right here in front of you that was published in
Frontiers in Communication. This is open access so you can find this at your
leisure and my co-authors on this were mostly the the people who are
involved in planning all the people on the planning committee from the 2018
symposium as well as Kaytee Canfield who was actually a graduate student at URI
at the time who became really engaged in the project and Cynthia Taylor another
graduate student at URI who helped with the paper so this paper was our way of
kind of putting a flag down and saying “hey everybody it’s time for science
communication to really shift toward a critical approach that as we wrote
centers inclusion equity and intersectionality,” so we have a very long
definition of inclusive science communication in that paper but I’d like
to kind of lay out for you what this means. So, first of all, when I say science
communication I am using the broadest possible definition of that term, meaning
this incorporates everything from formal science education in a classroom to many
different types of informal science learning, whether that is happening after
school or in museums or via social media or many many other approaches so we’re
taking this very broad look at that in terms of the inclusive piece of this
that reflects a real peridot Matic shit in how we conceive of science
communication a shift that would bring us toward a form of science
communication that recognizes the history of oppression and discrimination
against many communities that centers the voices of marginalized individuals
and communities that recognizes that a given person’s characteristics overlap
meaning their race their gender their ability their sexual identity whatever
all of those things overlap and it’s those intersectional identities that
affect our status in the world this this approach toward science communication
also acknowledges that the explicit and implicit biases of science communication
practitioners and scholars affects how we actually develop our science
communication activities it also says that we want to take an asset-based
approach toward communication meaning rather than focusing on what people
don’t know or don’t bring to a conversation we’re going to think about
what they do bring to a conversation and the fact that diverse ideas and
experiences and even criticisms of science enrich science itself enrich the
process of scientific research and should inform the way we communicate
about that research and it’s and its implications for our daily lives and
finally no small thing here we are suggesting that inclusive science
communication is a way to address systemic problems of access to stem so
we’re we’re offering kind of a grand vision here and that was the idea and we
expect that there will be some criticisms of this and some pushback and
that’s fine that’s the way it’s supposed to proceed but we really want to step
out of the box and and offer something that’s really new and and exciting so um
in addition to that we also we have some data that I wanted to share from the
first symposium that I think is important this is from the 2018
symposium and these data are summarized in a second paper that is also in
frontiers in communication that was published earlier this year by Holly
Smith and others and these two figures here show you the changes in how people
rated themselves in terms of their knowledge about various inclusive sicom
topics before in blue and after in orange attending the inclusive sicom
symposium and what you see the kind of big picture here is that can you guys
see my my cursor Meredith can you see that okay good so what you see is that
before the symposium the people who said that they were either extremely or very
knowledgeable about these various things was you know it was fairly low and it
increased after they attended the symposium okay so that’s great what I
think is even more important is that the people who said that they were slightly
or not at all knowledgeable about these various aspects of inclusive science
communications such as their ability to identify challenges to inclusive sicom
identify opportunities implement strategies for inclusive sicom overcome
barriers where the last one is identify new ways to become engaged and inclusive
sicom those people who said they were slightly or not at all knowledgeable and
there were a lot of them before the symposium that decreased quite a bit
after attending so the upshot is this symposium is absolutely a valuable way
for people to share knowledge share ideas develop new partnerships and and
that’s a pretty exciting thing we also found and and again I should note that
Holly Smith at University of Oregon led this this analysis of the surveys she
found that there were three main response orientations as she called them
among symposium attendees from that their participation this impose
and those response orientations she described as either emotional
knowledge-based or action based orientations so with regard to the
people who said they had emotion of sort of orientations those emotional
responses were both positive and negative as you can tell from these
quotes so this one person said it’s almost overwhelming to realize how far
we have to go in some respects with regard to doing science communication in
inclusive and equitable ways a second person said this meeting was very
powerful and motivating for me personally okay so that’s great lots of
emotional positive and negative responses there with regard to knowledge
I wanted to share this long quote because it encapsulate some of the kind
of growth that was involved for many of the participants this person wrote
access and the barriers on that road of accessibility are so much more
treacherous winding and uncharted than I originally thought I was uncomfortable
for most of the symposium and felt out of place this was an enlightening step
toward recognizing what needs to happen if things are going to change in science
communication and finally some people who had more of an action orientation
said things like I both know and can identify more of the barriers to
inclusive science communication but I also feel like I have more tools and
strategies to overcome those barriers so it’s that idea of tools and strategies
that could lead people to do something differently as a result as a result of
attending a symposium and another person said I’m going forward as as I go
forward I will use my connections and my privilege to raise up the voices and
experiences of minority scientists so we we clearly have a lot of really valuable
outcomes from from the symposium and that led us to think boy there is a lot
that we need to understand about what is going on in this evolving sphere of
people who are doing so what we’re describing as inclusive science
communicate so the callee Foundation gave us a grant
to look into this and it’s um so the Cali Foundation has supported a
few of these grants that they call landscape studies the idea is it’s kind
of a snapshot looking at a relatively small number of leaders in a particular
topic area in our case we were interviewing 30 leaders that are working
across many different disciplines and sectors and modes of science
communication this involved both researchers and practitioners and again
a lot of different settings and I want to note that Katie Canfield did all of
the interviewing on this and has done most of the data analysis too so 30
interviewees for it mostly informed the results that I’m going to share with you
but given the fact that that’s such a small number of people we’ve also been
sharing these results at meetings in small groups so we had some focus groups
at the 2019 inclusive sicom symposium to ask specific questions related to these
the landscape survey that we had developed and we’ve also kind of tested
out our initial findings at a couple of conferences to see if if any of the
people in those groups at these various conferences had different thoughts than
what we had found or if they could expand our understanding in different
ways so that we can ultimately have this we’re taking this sort of iterative
approach toward developing the the report that will come out of this that
we will finish this summer to make it as useful as possible okay so that’s why
and how and so now I’m going to share with you some of the findings from this
study most importantly we have identified these key traits of inclusive
science communication and we’re not sure yet if we’re gonna call them key traits
or core principles so I’m gonna call them key traits today but
just want to kind of offer that up for your consideration and those are
intentionality reciprocity and reflexivity so let me go through those
one at a time intention refers to your intention as a
communicator when you are undertaking any sort of science communication or
public engagement activity so who is your audience are you really thinking
about them and their needs and their interests how are different identities
represented and supported in your science communication efforts does this
effort account for history the historical oppressions and
discriminations that I referred to earlier with regard to reciprocity and I
should note that this is an idea that was mostly brought up by the
practitioners that we spoke to and not so much the researchers this really
refers to mutual benefit between the whomever is kind of leading or driving
the communication effort and remember the audience is so mutual benefit an
asset-based approach like I described earlier that is really acknowledging the
the values that that your eye and springs to the table um and also
reciprocity involves dialogue this is not a one-way thing at all this is
really truly a dialogue that could even address some very important and
foundational questions such as what defines science quote unquote and you
know the idea is that there are different ways of understanding the
world in different ways of knowing or even like who is a scientist you know
those of us who work in in STEM fields in various ways are often trying to
build a broader sense of belonging in in stem so the idea the fundamental
question about who constitutes a scientist is a part of that and part of
being reciprocal and you’re thinking about your communication and finally
reflexivity this was something that pretty much
everybody has mentioned and this is about
the idea that you can’t you have to have this intention when you’re going into
your science communication in terms of what you’re trying to do and who you’re
representing and all of that and you need to have this reciprocity but the
reflexivity is about having done this effort really thinking critically about
it you know did I did I achieve what I set out to do was I truly inclusive and
equitable in that work and how can i how can I improve my practices for the next
time so that we are on this continually improving trajectory I’ll note that with
regard to reflexivity sometimes this was an initial motivation for some of the
leaders that we interviewed for the study
sometimes that idea of reflexivity came out as an epiphany
in the course of their work also reflexivity is something that can be
done by institutions but is much more commonly done by individuals not
surprisingly okay another major finding from this report this study and this is
not going to be very surprising to people is the fact that those of us
doing science communication and us and especially within inclusive science
communication this this field or movement or whatever it is that is
evolving right now it’s very siloed and those silos are numerous but I will
focus on the silos that I’ve identified here we are very siloed by our
discipline our disciplines I should say and that’s because there are so many
different disciplines that really inform good science communication but often
people don’t have the time to really learn as much about those different
disciplines and how they could and should inform our work and therefore we
tend to fall into a particular disciplinary silo there’s also a lot of
siloing because of the mode of our science communication which is to say
are we doing science communications sabia
which many people are really doing inclusive saikhan that way but those
people who are very active in the world of Twitter are not necessarily active in
be like in-person Science Festival world for example you know so or in the modes
that you all across the sea grant network are working in so those modal
silos really limit how much we can learn and and apply good practices from other
modes and then finally another set of silos that’s really important here are
the silos of practice and research and I expect that you all on this call are
probably more likely to understand this than some myyy because you really bridge
the practice and research worlds a lot many of you are actively doing science
communication for your job and you either are a researcher or are working
with researchers all the time but what we found in the study is that especially
the younger folks who are working in this inclusive sicom sphere are really
struggling with this kind of dichotomous idea of practice versus research they
really see themselves as as at different kind of points along a spectrum between
practice and research at different times depending on what they’re doing so the
ways that we talk about practice versus research often presents additional
siloing that is not very helpful some of the novel insights that have
come out of this study include the fact that our silos are reinforced by
language that those that language that is often taken for granted in our
various sub communities so the upshot of that is that you know you don’t know
what you don’t know so we often can’t even think to look outside of our silos
because we we don’t we don’t have the language to look outside of our silos
and that’s significantly limiting our ability to learn from one another
similarly language is an important signal to potential collaborators and
this this very same problem of language reinforcing the silos is making it
harder to develop partnerships that could really do something novel and
potentially really impactful another one of the big findings is that a number of
people who are really leading at the leading edge and inclusive science
communication suffer from a lack of belonging they really feel that they
don’t they’re kind of neither fish nor fowl you know they feel that they don’t
necessarily belong within the contributing disciplines with with that
inform their work or the the contributing communities and Katie noted
in cake and field noted in in thinking about in analyzing all of this that
that’s probably one of the reasons that there is so much humility among the
people who do this inclusive science communication work because there’s a
recognition that we’re doing the very best we can in the moment but that’s not
necessarily the best way to do it so there is this this understanding that
the knowledge and the practices really need to improve but we still have to do
the best we can with what we have right now
and finally career stage is a really important point too there are a really
wide range of early career leaders in inclusive science communication they’re
bringing an entirely different set of assumptions fresh approaches and
insights that could accelerate the field if only we would give them the
opportunities to do that ok so let me summarize a couple of the challenges
that we have identified some of these are not going to be terribly surprising
there’s a very limited understand right now of what constitutes inclusive
science communication practices so many people fear they just don’t know what
they’re doing apropos of what I said before about
people kind of making this up as we go along so the fear is that and especially
people that come from a science background who really want to like
operate according to evidence right but there is a real lack of evidence related
to inclusive saikhan right now there’s just not a lot of research on it
and the research is so spread out across such disparate disciplines that people
are really struggling with that which brings us to the idea of training of
course one could overcome this through education and training but there’s a
void there is a significant void in training opportunities whether it’s pre
career for students or professional development right now to build
competencies in inclusive science communication and that’s a real problem
for a number of reasons but not least that people want to know how to do this
and they want to know how to do it right now many people then are looking for
kind of lists of tips and tricks you know but inclusion in any setting and
science communication is no different is largely about relationships and and deep
engagement with people it’s not about easy tips and tricks so this need for
training is a really big gap right now it’s also noteworthy that there is a
very imbalance representation in leadership and inclusive sicom and
that’s largely based on gender so it is mostly women who are really leading the
leading the charge in this regard and we have to have diverse leadership not just
by gender but race ethnicity and ability and all kinds of things we really need
diverse leadership in this evolution of inclusive science communication or else
we risk perpetuating this very same inequalities that this is supposed to
address and infrastructure so often again when it comes to all de I work
there will be an institution or an organization will say here’s our
quote-unquote diversity person here’s our one person who is going to do this
work for us yeah great wonderful yes you know
patting us ourselves on the back but this is not the work of one person this
requires an institutional commitment but the institutional infrastructure doesn’t
really exist for that sort of commitment right now and that’s something that
needs to be addressed funding I add up here as like the last thing I’m not
really going to talk about it because funding is always a challenge for
everything right but and right now it’s probably going to be ever more a
challenge in the not-too-distant future but one of the extra challenges with
funding when it comes to inclusive sicom is that doing this work takes more time
because of the deep engagement and the relationship building that I mentioned
before and that means longer horizons for funding which is challenging for
many funders so that’s another thing to consider okay a couple pressure points that we
found that we think could really stimulate the field one of them is
framing our science communication efforts in a way that really invites
interested in relevant parties meaning we want to help more people see
themselves as part of this bigger effort to change science communication for the
better so that means we need to think really carefully about the language that
we use to make this this broader invitation we also need more more
opportunities and actually physical and virtual spaces for the learning and
networking that needs to happen to grow this this field you know this some of
this is going to be online some via social media the I’m biased but
obviously I think the inclusive sicom symposium is pretty great but it has
only happened once a year and in fact we’re now moving to an every other year
model just because we’re Metcalfe Institute is small and we’re very time
limited so we need to think of other ways to really advance these
conversations and keep the momentum going
speaking of momentum this is something that a number of our interviewees noted
especially those people who are finding institutional resistance to their work
to do inclusive science communication so the challenge is in spite of the fact
that a person or a program may be doing really great work as an inclusive
science communicator their institutional leaders may say that
they want change but they’re not the institution’s are not necessarily
committing the time or the money or the effort that this kind of work requires
and then another pressure point here is and this is only noted by a couple of
people is that we really need to get more creative about evaluation of this
stuff and those of us who are doing science communication without you know
who maybe are practitioners and are not thinking about evaluating our programs
as much we really need to start thinking differently about this so that we can
get more data to actually substantiate and and build credibility for inclusive
approaches all right so I want to wind up here with some promising practices
based on what we found I’ll note that that term we were using that instead of
recommended practices because one of the interviewees made a point of saying that
he feels promising practices is is a much better term until we have more data
and I agree with them so first of all let’s make sure that we’re embedding
those key traits or core principles in all of our science communication
practices intentionality reciprocity and reflexivity are the things that we need
to be thinking about all the time and coming back to them over and over again
and checking ourselves to see if they’re happening we also need a process or
process these depending upon the work that we do for adaptive implementation
of those key traits based on our communication goals our audiences and
our settings so this could be program specific or it could be organization
specific you know from a Sea Grant perspective it could be project specific
even you know but but it’s something we need to think about and I urge you to
think about that in your own work of course we need to critically analyze
our language to reflect those key traits and to keep breaking down those silos I
love this cartoon I use it all the time you know again this is this gets back to
the point that we all of us no matter what work we do we tend to fall back
onto our comfortable language and that comfortable language may not be even
recognizable to another person and I’ll know and I’ll give you a really like
contentious example right now so the word outreach which I know Sea Grant
uses all the time and many many people cooperative extension from the land
grant world uses this term all the time outreach as a as a word is the
antithesis of an inclusive science communication it’s because it assumes a
hierarchy of knowledge you know we in the academic community for example are
going to reach out to you people who are not in this community so I know that
that’s kind of a jarring thing to hear I’ve had this conversation with a few
other people but it’s an example of how we take language for granted and we need
to question our language another promising practice is to really learn
from equity focused education research they have been doing incredible work in
multicultural education and using like critical race theory and critical
disability theory all these things to to inform how science education happens in
formal settings there’s a lot that we can learn from them for informal
settings as well and I just wanted to note that I was reading this book race
equity in the learning environment for a book club at the University of Rhode
Island just over the past couple of months and it’s while it’s focused on
formal learning environments there is so much in here that is relevant to my work
related to inclusive science communication so there’s a lot out there
and I recommend that if you’re interested in this you
you the many resources that are available another promising practice is
of course to create and sustain these in person and online networks and why
should we do that because it helps to cultivate a sense of belonging across
disciplines and across modes it helps to promote interdisciplinarity and and it
also helps to you know build credibility of this work of inclusive science
communication but also to help everybody recognize that this spectrum of practice
and research is essential and all parts of it of the spectrum are really
important not one versus the other we need to create these curricula for for
training related to inclusive sicom this photo here is Sam Dyson who led a
workshop about having difficult conversations at our 2019 inclusive
saikhan symposium and people raved about it because it was hard but it was a
really useful exercise so we needed to develop a lot more training
opportunities like that whether they’re for students or for professionals we
need to create more leadership opportunities for the students and the
early career professionals who are coming up with all kinds of great ideas
the people featured in this photo are Evelyn Valdez Ward here and Rob Ulrich
here who are both graduate students that run a program called reclaiming stem
which is a science communication and science policy training workshop that is
for underrepresented graduate students and developed by underrepresented
graduate students so it’s it’s incredible it’s it’s met with incredible
positive responses from people and they’re an example of people who are you
know early career folks who are doing really great work we need to value and
validate these diverse methodologies so that we can move beyond this
researcher-practitioner binary a lot of the early career
as I noted are straddling this kind of divide and really feeling a lot of guilt
about it especially those who’ve been trained as researchers and now want to
go on to a career in science communication so we need to talk about
this more and try to come up with different ways for it to to think about
what it looks like in practice and then finally we need to really think more
creatively about collaborative approaches for evaluation so we can
build up the base the foundation of data that we need to learn more about the
value of inclusive psych um so to sum this all up inclusive science communication the
practices that are involved in this are not necessarily new there are a lot of
people across all these different disciplines and sectors and modes who’ve
been doing much of this over time what’s new about this is that this is a call
for really integrating all of these disparate efforts and if we do that
we’re gonna end up with something that is much greater than the sum of its
parts that’s going to enhance learning and
minimize duplication and improve outcomes and if we’ve managed to achieve
all of that we’re going to have this radical rebranding of science
communication that was a quote from one of our interviewees in the study that
will make science communication accessible by default that will
transcend the kind of single definitions of science and expertise that we often
tend to work with and that will find these mechanisms to recognize and learn
from the similarities and differences in how we do our work thinking back to the
silo idea and now switching that metaphor a little bit we’ve been talking
about inclusive science communication as kind of an open floor plan with fewer
walls that are lower so you can see over them so you can like talk to your
neighbor who has this totally different approach and share information funny like office jokes now feel so feel
so quaint right but that’s okay so that’s my office meddler now finally I
want to I want to complete this with one last comment and that is that Co bid 19
offers some vivid examples of the need for inclusive science communication so
the images that I’ve shared here are from a comedy variety show that caveat
NYC put on a couple weeks ago now in New York it was called Asians strike back a
coronavirus comedy and science show and this was organized by a couple people
who really wanted to address the fact that there was that there are a lot of
very racist and racialized comments and approaches toward communication about
covin 19 they also wanted to counter misinformation about the science so this
is this is science comedy that is addressing very difficult conversations
this is inclusive sicom in a nutshell and there’s another example of this from
this is from Twitter Monique of Valium O’Hare is was has been on the planning
committee for the last two inclusive saikhan symposia she is under
neuroscientist by training but she’s a really important contributor to the
world of inclusive science communication and she’s involved with a program called
ciencia Puerto Rico or Sancia PR and CNC PR works with scientists from basically
anyone who relates to the Puerto Rican diaspora wherever they are to help
communicate about science so her these Twitter these tweets that she she
offered a couple days ago she said that what she’s really been doing over the
last few days in response to koban 19 is serving as an editor and liaison
helping young scientists and sicom yet their op-eds and articles published via
cnc APR in collaboration with their media partners and she makes a note in
the second tweet here that these were all published in Spanish and from a
culturally relevant perspective focused on Puerto Rico so and this is just one
of many articles that she shared in that thread so culturally relevant science
communication which reflects language it reflects culture that is another
approach toward inclusive science communication that is relevant always
but here’s a particular example based on what we’re experiencing right now that’s
that’s very relevant and so I’ll leave you with a couple of thoughts that I’d
love to hear from you about of course I’m happy to answer any questions you
may have but I wonder how you’re thinking this relates to or corresponds
with or conflicts with your work at Sea Grant and also what resources or
training or other things you think you need to advance inclusive science
communication and with that I’ll close and say thank you that was that was
terrific sunshine thank you so much so colleagues please use the chat function
to ask questions that is probably the best way to proceed Meredith and I will
moderate this question answer session so as you type your questions I did receive
a couple via email so meredith sunshine is it okay if i share them and meredith
you can continue to monitor the chat window yes I will do that and actually
while people are kind of gathering their thought one thing I wanted to note was
sunshine when you made that comment about outreach because I just was
mulling over all sorts of things in my head and I don’t know if I went to the
side come the inclusive symposium but I feel like you guys did something else
and you know they’re just certain things like oh you realize that you’re doing
something in your food that’s not good but I’m also in the middle of redoing
our website and like what do we call out reaches out word we still use but I
wasn’t thinking of it in this lens I was just more like does that mean anything
to anyone but it so I’m like okay great won’t use that but the question I have
in light was you know through your own process what was a big I think I’m I
would assume other people could relate is when you you wanted you have every
good intention and you want to do better and then you learn something of your own
that you don’t your own habits that you realize and it that’s I think the
hardest part when you’re like oh I’m not as good as I had hoped I wouldn’t so I
was wondering from your perspective and all this research what was the one thing
that kind of hit you where you were like oh yes okay oh that’s such a good
question marital um wow that’s such a good question boy you know I I could
come up with a whole bunch of things I’m sure but rather than bore you with all
of the things that I do wrong all the time let me offer this we all mess up
you know like we all even with the best of intentions we do things and say
things that are not inclusive or equitable and what I think is most
important is to acknowledge that to yourself and if
appropriate to another person like if you realize you said something that in
fact in second thought you’re like oh wow that in fact might have been
offensive I recommend that you just say that I’m so sorry
I just realized maybe that was really an inappropriate thing to say and I’m sorry
and um and if you’re up for it and this is very hard if you’re up for it you
could even go into a conversation and if that person is up for it go into a
conversation about that difficult thing this is exactly the kind of training
that we need that we don’t get having those hard conversations especially
across difference whatever that kind of difference is is so important and so
hard to do and and I feel like to get to where science communication needs to be
those of us who are doing this work need to have the skills to do this so but
we’re not there yet and you can’t expect yourself to just you know zoom be an
expert in this so I urge you to you know be kind to yourself but acknowledge if
in fact you have said or done something that is not it’s not the best way to
proceed and and learn and be willing be willing to learn so humility is a huge
part of this just acknowledge that none of us is is perfect and that’s okay
we’re humans we’re not supposed to be perfect but we can get better all right
well thank you sunshine so I request colleagues to type your questions and
and we still have 12 minutes and if we’re not able to get through the
questions I’m sure that sunshine will oblige us by answering those questions
and we’ll post them online but the question I got via email sunshine is
from a colleague at University of Michigan they are a general programmer
analyst for their research institution where they do a lot of coding and they
distill science into the purest logic possible and you know using all the
tools their question is what would you recommend research programmers and
software developers to do to improve their professional practice along the
lines of inclusive sicom oh it’s a great question too so this is I’ll admit that
this is definitely not my area of expertise but I do know that there are a
lot of there are more and more people who are really thinking carefully about
coding and and like this comes up a lot in artificial intelligence work I know
but trying to recognize and address the implicit bias that goes into coding that
can have so many ill effects on many people so there there are people out
there who are thinking about this and our experts on it and I urge you to look
for research I know that there are resources out there that specifically
address this issue so I’ll I’ll try to I just can’t come up there’s one
particular website that’s in my head right now but I can’t come up with the
name of it but I’ll try to come up with that and share it with Mona so she can
distribute it later Thank You sunshine Meredith do you want to feel some
questions sure another questions concerning many helpful tools to help
with applying that de islands to fact sheets websites publications being
developed by Sea Grant some of you know this one is some questions in particular
to a group of voters but I think this is relevant to all of the various groups
that cigarette interacts with so yeah absolutely that’s a great idea
so there I’m gonna I’m finding a link right now that I’m gonna put into the
chat there are a couple things that I’m thinking about one is the Center for the
advanced of informal science education case had a
broadening participation taskforce a couple years ago that I was on and we
developed it so I just shared the link we developed a bunch of practice briefs
they were called that are designed to spark conversations about many many many
different aspects of broadening participation in your workplace and so
that’s one thing you could do when it comes to developing fact sheets like
these briefs which cover a whole bunch of different topics raise some issues
that you can ask yourself and your colleagues about as you’re developing
any kind of communication tool the other resource that I wanted to share is if
you go to inclusive cycle org which is the website for the symposium on the
homepage there’s a blue button toward the bottom that says resource list or
something like that so that is a crowd-sourced Google Doc
which you can add resources to as well it has this long list of emailers
categories and then many many many different resources under those
categories and there could also be additional tools and resources listed
there that could be helpful for you another thing I want to mention and
there was an interesting so the National Association of science writers and the
open notebook which is a great website resource about science writing they had
they launched a series of like a blog post series called diverse voices maybe
a year or two years ago and it addresses all sorts of issues related to Dei in
science writing and one of the things recently a recent blog post was about
sensitivity readers meaning if you are writing a piece either for a particular
like marginalized community or like to reach this community or if you just want
to just kind of check in general about language that you’re using you could
reach out to a person compensate them reach out to a person who would serve as
a quote-unquote sensitivity reader to give you you like some insight a person
who is is not the same as you you know like who’s of a different ethnicity or
gender or ability or whatever to read through your piece and offer insights on
this so so I’d also recommend that you take a look at that diverse voices
series from the open notebook and and consider this concept of of sensitivity
readers that’s fantastic you can add meredith people to speak up
the next question and i would encourage everyone to share their thoughts too and
i see folks exchanging ideas so that’s that’s very encouraging Meredith yeah
I’m just I’m skipping ahead a little bit cuz there is one question that I was
like oh yes um so I my own biases at the moment it’s about adjusting quotes so a
person had a good interview with a researcher who kept referring to normal
versus a diabetic patient and kind of that use of normal and you know in terms
of journalistic standards you don’t want to mess with quotes but then if a quote
is so what do we I mean my initial thinking I was like Oh paraphrase it but
sometimes if you are always paraphrasing you know it’s the power of the quote too
so yeah what are your thoughts on that when you train journalists um well I
guess you know that’s a really good example of language that the source
probably is taking for granted I’m sure the source didn’t think twice
about that language and if if you were to call their attention to it and and
say you know we have some concerns about using this verbatim because we don’t
want to imply that you know someone’s not normal if if they have diabetes or
whatever then calling that out might make the source say oh actually I’d like
to offer a different version of this or if they don’t want to do that or if
you don’t want to contact them again yeah I I would I would try to either
paraphrase or else remove part of that you know only take the other part of the
quote you know like you could paraphrase the part where they say normal versus
diabetic or I’m sorry if it was not diabetic and if I had the wrong word
there sorry you know what I mean take that part out and use the more
substantive part of what they said in the quote obviously obviously there are
some serious judgement calls that you have to make as the as the writer in
that case but I think the larger lesson is the more you can raise your awareness
about the very many ways that our language can exclude people the more
skilled you’re going to get at raising these issues when they first arise and
dealing with them I am gonna combine well in two questions one is asking what
are some good examples of creative evaluation metrics and then the other
one is really about how do we reach a broader audience a lot of times we talk
about targeting audiences and now in this context we’re talking about being
inclusive so when a lot of our for example visioning programs oftentimes
reach one demographic typically older not necessarily younger audiences so how
do how can we be targeted but also inclusive I think if that if I’m getting
that question right if not correct me so the one part is examples of creative
evaluation metrics and then the other is this broader versus targeted audience
messaging so for the creative evaluation metrics good question the wait let’s
let’s think about it some more I mean that we don’t we’re not prepared to
offer any specific metrics in in the report at this point because
there’s a real gap here and we don’t feel expert in this either I will offer
as an example that we were thinking about and this is an example that we
might offer in the report we’re thinking about how few of the people who are
really using Twitter for example to do a lot of inclusive science communication
are actually doing any evaluation on the on the outcomes or impacts or whatever
of their engagement via Twitter so we were thinking you know this is an
example where someone you know may be a researcher who’s really interested in
understanding some of these questions could partner with the the Twitter user
/ engager person come together talk about this be like oh hey you here are
some interesting questions that I have can I have access to your data and it’s
it is the the collaboration of those people that leads to the creative
metrics you know so I can’t tell you what those metrics might be but I think
that we don’t we all of us don’t do enough reaching out to people who do
their work very differently from us and think very differently about their work
and because of that again we get really stuck in our ways of thinking so if we
were to reach out in the beginning of our efforts more broadly to try to bring
in more collaborators we’d be far more successful in terms of the second
question I’m sorry but I think I need a little bit more yeah but I’m gonna
actually you know I tried to paraphrase and I didn’t do a good job so I’m just
gonna read it what is a good strategy for a programming to reach a broader
audience to be more inclusive ie age without burnout so that part I had
missed so for example we have vision programs that oftentimes reach one
demographic typically older but not necessarily younger audiences even
though we use a bunch of different outlets from social media and print
digital okay so I’m teaching a public engagement by science class right now or
I was now it’s everything’s all different but I
guess I still am I’m just doing it very differently and one of the things that
we’ve been talking about a lot in this class is the fact that one the you need
to go to where the people are versus expecting them to come to you I know
that’s hard but real public engagement comes from beating people where they are
and so that’s one piece of this like getting a different you know group of
people to attend your programs means that you may have to do the program in
different places this is the very same program you know so you say you’re
getting older people and you want younger people then you know find a
place where the younger people are and bring the program to them another thing
that you really need to think about is timing so the time of day or night that
you hold a program can also really determine who can come because of school
or jobs or childcare or whatever so those are some of the easiest things to
think about in terms of programming and in trying to make it more inclusive
right I think we’ll have to conclude the webinar here I just want to be
respectful of everybody’s time but thank you so much Meredith for making this
happen and thank you sunshine for giving us your time we learned a lot this was
terrific and we’ll continue colleagues if you
have questions please feel free to share them with Meredith or myself via email
and we’ll bug sunshine to answer those questions to add to us and we’ll share a
sheet with all of you so so thank you again thanks sunshine thanks Meredith
anything that you all have to say before we go just thank you
I appreciate everybody take care yeah thank you everyone thank you sunshine
all right take care now bye

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