5 examples of how the languages we speak can affect the way we think Keith Chen (TED Talk: Could your language affect your ability to save money?) might be an economist, but he wants to talk about language. For instance, he points out, in Chinese, saying “this is my uncle” is not as straightforward as you might think. In Chinese, you have no choice but to encode more information about said uncle. “All of this information is obligatory. This got Chen wondering: Is there a connection between language and how we think and behave? While “futured languages,” like English, distinguish between the past, present and future, “futureless languages” like Chinese use the same phrasing to describe the events of yesterday, today and tomorrow. But that’s only the beginning. Featured illustration via iStock.
Unit 1 of English Communication for Scientists | Learn Science at Scitable Communication is an integral part of the research you perform as a scientist. Your written papers serve as a gauge of your scientific productivity and provide a long-lasting body of knowledge from which other scientists can build their research. The oral presentations you deliver make your latest research known to the community, helping your peers stay up to date. Discussions enable you to exchange ideas and points of view. Letters, memos, and résumés help you build and maintain relationships with colleagues, suppliers, employers, and so on. Scientific communication is not limited to formal papers and presentations for your peers. Finally, scientists are increasingly considered to be accountable to society at large; hence, you must know how to communicate successfully with people from a variety of backgrounds. This Nature Education series on English Communication for Scientists aims to help you communicate more effectively as a scientist, specifically in the English language.
The Science of Science Communication Organized by Ralph Cicerone, Baruch Fischhoff, Alan Leshner, Barbara Schaal and Dietram Scheufele Overview This colloquium was held in Washington, D.C. May 21-22, 2012. The meeting surveyed the state of the art of empirical social science research in science communication and focused on research in psychology, decision science, mass communication, risk communication, health communication, political science, sociology, and related fields on the communication dynamics surrounding issues in science, engineering, technology, and medicine with five distinct goals: To improve understanding of relations between the scientific community and the publicTo assess the scientific basis for effective communication about scienceTo strengthen ties among and between communication scientistsTo promote greater integration of the disciplines and approaches pertaining to effective communicationTo foster an institutional commitment to evidence-based communication science Recording and Publication
Scientific Communication | Learn Science at Scitable What information should you include in an abstract, and in what order? How can you get your message across in an oral presentation — with or without slides? How much text is acceptable on a poster? Communication is an integral part of the research you perform as a scientist and a crucial competence for a successful career, yet it is an activity you may not feel prepared for. In this area of the site you will find dozens of resources to help you master scientific communication. If you are looking for a comprehensive coverage in the subject, you will find English Communication for Scientists quite useful. Science/AAAS | Special Issue: Communication in Science: Pressures and Predators Science's Special Issue on Communication in Science: Pressures and Predators includes free news and reviews on the lack of scrutiny at open-access journals, the rarity of published negative studies, and publishing sensitive data. As a service to the community, AAAS is making these articles free to the public. From Science Editorial Improving Scientific Communication M. As scientific publishing has become a growth industry, the standards for scientific communication are slipping. Infographic The Rise of Open Access The accelerating pace of scientific publishing and the rise of open access, as depicted by xkcd.com cartoonist Randall Munroe. News The Seer of Science Publishing T. Vitek Tracz was ahead of the pack on open access. Cloak-and-Dagger Publishing D. Classified journals aim to solve a thorny problem: how to rigorously peer review and share sensitive government-funded findings that ofﬁcials don’t want sent to regular journals. What’s Lost When a Meeting Goes Virtual J. TED Video J. TED Video
Why People Don’t Hear What You Say Key concepts Psychology Attention Working memory Communication Introduction Have you ever told a friend or family member something only to later find that he or she completely misunderstood you—or never heard you at all? People often tell each other about important information that is not properly received, even when the conversation occurs in a quiet setting at close range. Background The act of listening seems simple enough: the ears register the sounds produced and the brain interprets them, assuming the sounds reach the ears and the listener knows the meaning of the words. Processing language takes a fair amount of thought. In addition, people often don't express themselves clearly in the first place. Materials • Pencil or pen • Paper • Four or more friends or family members • Stereo, TV or other device that makes noise (optional) Observations and results Did the statement you whispered change a lot during its journey? The world is full of distractions, both external and internal.
Narratively Speaking by Randy Olson In the News story by J. Cohen “Great presenters: lighting up the auditorium” (special section on Communication in Science, 4 October, p. 78), Bonnie Bassler includes in her rules of presentation, “Tell stories.” As a scientist turned filmmaker who specializes in making content meaningful and memorable, I could not agree more. But how? In the fall of 2013, I was recruited to give a makeover to the plenary panel discussion for the 2013 meeting of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF). Within two days, the other two presenters and I were embroiled in an e-mail battle—neither of them wanted to change their standard presentations. By shifting from e-mail to telephone meetings, we immediately found common ground, which grew into friendship. We changed the title from “Responding to Sea Level Rise” to “Sea Level Rise: New, Certain, and Everywhere.” My fellow presenters and I learned a lot from this. Scientists must overcome the problem of “storyphobia.” Randy Olson
How brain science can make you a better writer A TV ad for kayak.com features an unscrupulous doctor manipulating a patient’s exposed brain, turning him into a puppet who flails away at a keyboard hunting and pecking for online travel deals. It’s funny to some, offensive to others, but it illustrates a larger point that is important for writers. The brain influences the way readers respond to words, for better or worse. A growing body of research reveals that different parts of the brain respond to language in unique ways. The science of “this is your brain,” “this is your brain on stories,” is relatively straightforward. It’s long been understood that the neocortex, the thinking part of the brain that separates humans from all other species, interprets language through the Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. That’s why traditional news articles with their passive verb forms, collective nouns (“officials said”) and clichés have so little impact on readers. Create scenes. Neuroscience offers profound lessons on the power of story.
3 Reasons to Master the Art of Storytelling Storytelling is a timeless human tradition. Before the written word, people would memorize elaborate stories full of morals that shaped cultures for generations. Today, kids can barely sit through class, but spend hundreds of hours devouring Harry Potter books. We are wired for communicating through and learning from stories. Unfortunately, storytelling has become a lost art in many businesses. Here are three reasons why storytelling is crucial to start-up success. 1. Like this video by Landor Associates demonstrates, when facts and information are framed by a compelling story, you'll not only hold the attention of your audience, but you'll also make the information presented more memorable. 2. Because stories are so memorable, they're easy for listeners to recount in the future. 3. As a founder, a big part of your job is to move people to act.
Commonly confused words Take a look at these two sentences – one of them contains a mistake: I poured over book after book. We pored over the catalogues. Are you uncertain which one is right? Here’s a quick-reference list of pairs of words that regularly cause people problems. Back to Usage. You may also be interested in: 'Loose' or 'lose'? 'Pour' or 'pore'? 'Bare' or 'bear'?