LSC undergraduate students participate in a wide variety of internships each summer and this year was no exception. Students throughout the department enhanced their science communication skills in professional settings near and far. In this story we highlight a small selection of students who demonstrated their knowledge and excellence in diverse fields.
The Spring 2018 Life Sciences Communication colloquium brought acclaimed speakers from near and far. Over the course of the semester, attendees of the colloquium heard from experts in science communication, science policy, sustainability marketing, media sociology, and other interesting areas.
We’ve published videos of the talks below in case you missed them. Continue reading
With so many complex current issues such as climate change, vaccination and gene editing that have not only scientific and technical dimensions, but also ethical and social implications, it has never been more important to communicate about science effectively.
This Spring, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication’s popular course LSC 560: Scientific Writing will teach graduate students in scientific fields to do just that. In the course, LSC senior lecturer and award-winning journalist Ron Seely will share over 20 years of expertise as a science and environmental reporter working for the Wisconsin State Journal and as a freelancer to help students bring clarity and simplicity to complex scientific subjects.
“LSC 560 gives graduate students a professional understanding of how to effectively communicate science and research findings to the public. It helps any scientist or science writer who needs to understand how and why their messages must change along with the audience they address, whether it’s scientific, lay or governmental,” says LSC professor and director of undergraduate studies Shiela Reaves.
Story by Ysabella Bhagroo. Ysabella is an undergraduate student majoring in LSC and the Department of Life Sciences Communication 2017-18 Lenore Landry Scholar.
It’s the stuff of science fiction – artificially whitening clouds, injecting reflective particles into the stratosphere, seeding the oceans with iron – all to reverse the escalating consequences of climate change.
With changing global weather patterns, including five hurricanes within the past month, Dominique Brossard, chair of the Life Sciences Communication Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, believes the time to discuss solutions is now.
According to a recent Stanford study, if we want to reduce global temperature by 2 degrees Celsius, we need to significantly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels within the next 2 or 3 decades. To do this, experts are turning to climate engineering, or “geoengineering,” for answers.
As the fall semester begins, we are excited to welcome to Hiram Smith Hall new and returning students from across the state and across the world.
In the next fifteen weeks, LSC students will explore the theory and practice of subjects at the forefront of science communication. Some students will create multimedia projects and design original websites. Other students will produce professional-grade audio projects and work on manuscripts that may be published in academic journals.
This semester, it is also LSC’s pleasure to welcome a new lecturer to our faculty. Jenne Meyer is the Vice President of Brand for the healthcare company ERDMAN and serves on the Board of Directors of the companies BizStarts, BrightLife Innovations, and Jouze. This semester, she will bring her business experience to the classroom to teach LSC270: Communication in Life Sciences Industries and LSC 435: Integrated Marketing Communication.
LSC is excited to announce that LSC professor emeritus and senior lecturer Larry Meiller was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame on Thursday, June 15, 2017. Larry’s on-air career has spanned 50 years and he continues to host “The Larry Meiller Show” every weekday in addition to serving as a faculty member at LSC and inspiring students to pursue radio in LSC’s Information Radio course.
Larry Meiller’s radio career started while an undergraduate student in the Department of Agricultural Journalism (now called Life Sciences Communication). Meiller enrolled in a radio class his senior year and shortly after he was asked to fill in on “The Farm Program,” a department run agricultural radio segment on WHA AM radio, for a summer by late LSC professor Maury White. Not long after, Meiller took over running “The Farm Program” while pursuing his Ph.D. in Mass Communications at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Larry has hosted a number of programs including “The Farm Program,” “The Midday Report,” “Wisconsin Hear and Now,” and “Conversations with Larry Meiller,” and he has interviewed local and national celebrities including Jesse Jackson, Pat Summerall, John Grisham and others.
“Larry Meiller is truly a Wisconsin institution,” notes LSC chair Dominique Brossard. “Larry really epitomizes the Wisconsin Idea because not only does he love teaching students how to communicate effectively, but he also draws on that knowledge and the knowledge of the university as a whole to discuss a range of topics on his radio show. And he has done this for 50 years! We are truly lucky to have him.”
This week, Life Sciences Communication professor and chair Dominique Brossard is traveling to San Diego to be honored at the 2017 International Communication Association (ICA) Conference. Brossard will be named a Fellow of ICA and will be recognized by association leaders at their annual conference.
Fellow status in the ICA, the most prestigious association for communication researchers, is a recognition of distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communication. Brossard is an internationally known expert in public opinion dynamics related to controversial scientific issues. Her research focuses on the intersection between science, media and policy and on understanding the role of values in shaping public attitudes.
“Dominique is without a doubt one of the most widely recognized international experts in the area of communication about controversial science. Her track record of establishing communication research as a foundation for scientific work in other disciplines – both within the social sciences and the bench sciences – is unique in our discipline,” notes LSC professor Dietram Scheufele. Scheufele himself was named an ICA Fellow in June of 2016.
In addition to serving as a Fellow for ICA, Brossard is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and is a former board member of the International Network of Public Communication of Science and Technology.
Sixteen students were honored for their academic achievements and received scholarships and awards thanks to the generous gifts from donors. Warren Nesbitt, a 76′ graduate of LSC, served as the guest speaker. Warren, who is President of SolutionTrack Associates, reflected on his time in LSC and his successful communications career before giving students advice for their future careers.
Alumni, donors and friends traveled from near and far to attend and pass along their generosity to a new group of students, enabling many of these students to go above and beyond. Thank you to all the generous donors for supporting our students and for all they invest in LSC!
Summer is right around the corner and the Department of Life Sciences Communication is offering a variety of classes to educate undergraduate, graduate, and non-degree students in both the theoretical and applied side of science communication. LSC is offering five classes this summer and each are online allowing students to enroll from all over the world.
Classes include LSC 350: Visualizing Science and Technology, an introductory course on the visual communication of science taught by professor Shiela Reaves. This online course overviews the principles of design, perception, and cognition, and outlines techniques used to portray science in the media. Students explore visual communication through illustrated lectures and visual image analysis in both written assignments and team presentations.
LSC faculty affiliate Don Stanley is teaching LSC 432: Social Media in the Life Sciences, an online course overviewing the foundations of content marketing. The course outlines effective digital marketing strategies and explores how social media can be leveraged for success. Students learn tools for social media communication specific to the sciences and are tasked with building their personal social media presence.
Much of LSC professor Patty Loew’s research has focused on how indigenous people use media to form identity, reconstruct the past, and assert their sovereignty and treaty rights. A member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, Loew’s passion for First Nation communities has led her to write multiple books and articles on Native topics, produce Native-themed documentaries, and teach various courses related to indigenous populations including the course LSC 444: Native American Environmental Issues and the Media.
Recently, her passions led her to a unique project. Loew is now working with the School of Human Ecology (SoHE) leading the UW-Native Nations Initiative, a partnership between UW-Madison, UW-Extension, and UW Colleges to improve the relationship between the University of Wisconsin and the twelve Indian nations located in the state.
In the past UW-Madison, UW-Extension, and UW Colleges have partnered with Native Nations on various efforts surrounding health services, environmental preservation, economic development, education, and more. However, past partnership and support has sometimes been uneven, informal, or unsustainable. The UW-Native Nations Initiative aims to build more respectful and reciprocal partnerships between the University of Wisconsin and Native Nation communities across the state.
“We haven’t done a good job of making our UW campuses welcoming spaces for Native students and our research approaches haven’t always been respectful. We believe that we need to make changes,” Loew said.