From: "Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety" <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**DCHAS.ORG>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] 2020 Science: Guiding “questions” for science communication – personal reflections
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2016 08:53:16 -0400
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2020 Science

Guiding "questions" for science communication =E2=80" personal reflections

Posted: 17 Jun 2016 03:03 PM PDT

A few days ago, I was asked to articulate my "rules" for effective science communication. I don't actually have a check-list for developing science communications (and I=E2=80™m not sure that a rigid check list would be such a good idea).  But I do have an informal (and until now not clearly articulated) framework that informs how I communicate, whether I'm being asked to comment on something with just a few minutes notice, or crafting an article or video from the ground up. This has evolved over the years, and reflects my professional experiences, my personal ethos and values, and - importantly - my responsibilities and ethic as an academic and an educator. Being asked about my "rules" got me reflecting on this informal framework, and how to articulate what's important to me and why, as I communicate about and around science. The result was the (personal) guiding "questions" below (I formerly referred to them as "principles, but they're really just a bunch of questions).   They're admittedly a little earnest-sounding.  But that aside, they do capture what goes through my head when I put on my communication hat.   What is the purpose of the communication? Am I primarily setting out to engage, educate, or inform my audience? What do I want to achieve through this communication? (This will depend on the state of the science and messaging, and so is iterative with points further below) Who is my target audience? Who am I primarily communicating with, and why? Who else will this communication be useful to and used by? Are there unintended audiences that may not find the communication helpful, and how will I balance their perceptions and responses with my primary audience? What is the state of the science? What is known, and what is not? What is the

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