The Department of Life Sciences Communication was happy to contribute to the 2016 North American Congress for Conversation Biology. The 3rd biennial congress’s theme was “Communicating Science for Conservation Action” and highlighted the importance of successful communication strategies in conversation science. More and more scientific organizations are realizing the importance of communication in turning research into action and LSC is continuing its strong involvement in conversations across disciplines.
Jamie Hogberg, the organizing committee chair for the conference, noted “We are excited to collaborate with Life Sciences Communication faculty, staff, and students, and greatly value their contributions to the conference. Integrating perspectives from the LSC Department will surely enrich our dialogue during the conference, and provide meaningful impacts to conservation scientists’ work in the future.”
LSC participated in the congress in a variety of ways. Department Chair Dominique Brossard, Professor Dietram Scheufele, and Associate Professor Bret Shaw served on the steering committee for the conference. Additionally, Scheufele set the stage for the event giving the opening keynote address on July 18th; the keynote, “Communicating Science at the Nexus of Policy and Action”, covered empirical work in various environmental fields and what this work means for more effective communication. Prior to the presentation Scheufele did a Q&A with COMPASS which can be found here. A full recording of his address can be found here.
Furthermore, Brossard moderated the plenary titled “Science Communication: Speaking Everyone’s Language” on how to best communicate science to a variety of audiences. A recording of the plenary can be found here. LSC Ph.D. student Patrice Kohl served as the organizer for a conference meeting titled “De-extinction- Communicating Conservation Goals if Extinction is No Longer Forever”. The meeting featured Kohl and Brossard among others, and conversation ranged from the ethics of de-extinction to ways de-extinction, bio-tech, and conservation have been covered in the media. Additionally, Shaw participated in a panel presentation titled “Focus on Behavior Change: How Conservationists Can Conduct More Effective Outreach” and contributed to a session on communicating the science of invasive species.
“It’s great to have the congress in Madison, and LSC is excited to be a partner,” Scheufele explained. “One of the themes throughout the meeting is how to better communicate science, and what some of the larger principles are that can help us do a better job with that. And a lot of research by folks in LSC and many of our classes deal with those principles and how we can create better communication programs.”
The congress was hosted by the The Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, The Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, The Aldo Leopold Foundation and the Wisconsin Chapter of the Society of Conversation Biology and brought together roughly 1,000 conservation professionals.
For more information on the congress be sure to check the NACCB website.