Paula and Dave had the pleasure of being interviewed by Virginia Wildlife magazine after the publication of their book “Speaking of the Environment: What your science classes didn’t teach you about effective communication“. They spoke about some of their experiences engaging and connecting with stakeholders and offered some tips to others trying to do the same. You can read the full article here.
Some quotes from the article:
“During our early careers as scientists and as policy specialists, Dave and I kept seeing this recurring information gap,” Paula explained. “So often, the scholars and scientists who have the relevant data don’t have the kind of background or training to successfully commu-nicate with people who don’t have scientific degrees. They’re used to preaching to the choir. There wasn’t a focus on creating clear, digestible content that people could relate to. We made it our mission to dig deeply into innovative data visualiza-tion, video work, storytelling, outreach efforts, and strategic thinking to help organizations tell the right story to the right audience. Whether the topic is fisheries management, climate change, heat islands, or wildlife habitat, people need to know why the science matters.”
“We learned over time that the information deficit model wasn’t working; it wasn’t enough,” Dave said. “From a social science perspective, we decided to make a shift. Going forward, the focus of our practice had to be on showing stakeholders how a particular issue would impact them, and to make the science both relatable and approachable through multiple vehicles. We recognize that for many people, think-ing environmentally is a luxury. Free time is limited. They’re working hard to pay the bills.”