The Daily Show Asks, What's Science Up To?
In advance of our media training and messaging workshops we send out surveys to get a sense of what our participants want and need. We always ask: "What is the question you'd least like to be asked by a reporter or policymaker?" We get some really great, tough questions that we often use in workshops. However, for a session we have coming up this week, a participant wrote in their survey that the biggest challenge she has is responding to non-scientists who are skeptics of science all together. She referred us to an episode of The Daily Show that aired last week on Comedy Central.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Weathering Fights - Science: What's It Up To?|
We all found this clip as frustrating as it was funny. The reality is many scientists are concerned about being a political talking point or a pawn in a larger cultural or political debate. The tragic outcome is that too many scientists use this as a reason to avoid engaging all together.
Sadly, science doesn't speak for itself. When scientists don't lead the discussion of their work, others step in to fill the vacuum and misappropriate their science. We see this time and again, whether it's stem cells, vaccines and autism, or global warming.
The best advice is to carefully prepare messaging about your work to put it in context, step forward and explain your science.
And remember, you always have The Daily Show there to make your opponent look ridiculous.
About The Institute
Building on Burness Communications’ work with more than 300 groups in the United States and around the world, the Institute offers academic and nonprofit organizations media, policy and advocacy training along with academic coursework on advocacy, as well as coaching. Our training goes beyond smiling on camera and using proper etiquette in meetings with policymakers. We aim to help you speak so clearly that the people you want to motivate will understand — and be moved to act. More