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Skeptical Science at EGU 2019 - Monday

Posted on 11 April 2019 by BaerbelW

As the main post was getting too large and unwieldy quickly, I decided to break it up into one post per day. As each day becomes available, the previous post will link to it at the end.

Monday, April 8 - PICO-session featuring our MOOC Denial101x

John Cook and I had submitted an abstract about our MOOC Denial101x to Session EOS7.1 - Climate Change Education. The session had been scheduled for the first day of the conference which suited me just fine as it meant that I wouldn't have to be in a specific session at a specific time for the remainder of the week, but could pick and chose what to participate in. Basically a case of "getting it out of the way right away"!

Initially, the session had been announced as a poster session so would have been a repeat for me from last year, with not really much time needed to prepare for it. But, I soon learned, that the conveners actually wanted to do it as a PICO-session (Presenting Interactive COntent) which is an interesting mixture of extremely short presentations, aptly named "2-minute-madness", and self-service presentations made available on large touchscreens.

This format meant that I had to find a way to a) somehow summarize Denial101x within 2 minutes and b) turn the information from the poster into an interactive presentation. The "2-minute-madness" can be compared to an ad which should be compelling enough to make viewers want to learn more and subsequently come to your PICO-spot to click through the full presentation.

I decided to do some preliminary recordings in order to get the wording and timing right and as it's now easy to save a presentation as a video-file I uploaded it to YouTube, so you can take a look:

After the 2-minute-madness section of the session each of us took up position next to our assigned PICO-screens to answer questions and talk with other attendees about our project. Thanks to John Cook‘s neat FLICC cartoon quite a few people were drawn towards our presentation and I had some fun time talking at length with them. You can view and download the full presentation as a PDF-file (6MB) here.

On Monday afternoon I joined the very well attended short course „How to share your research with citizens and why it’s so important“ (SC2.1) in which Chloe Hill (EGU Policy Officer), Rolf Hut (Delft University of Technology), Terri Cook (freelance writer and illustrator) and Alicia Newton (Director of Science and Communications at Geological Society of London) shared their insights. Each of them did a 15 minute presentation sharing their various and varied perspectives of how and why scientists need to engage with the public. We heard about the many outreach activities supported by EGU, how Rolf Hut uses his interest in using existing technology in new and innovative ways to measure the earth's weather and climate in his teachings, why Terri Cook left academia to turn her passion for writing into becoming an award-winning freelance writer, editor and illustrator. Alicia Newton summed up her session‘s take-aways with „There’s no such thing as the general public“ and „Don‘t think about what you want to tell them but what they want to hear from you.“

Main Post - Recap for Tuesday


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