How to maximize science communication efficacy by combining old and new media

Tuesday, 16 December 2014: 2:28 PM
Dana A Nuccitelli, Organization Not Listed, Washington, DC, United States; Skeptical Science, Brisbane, Australia and John Cook, University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD, Australia
Traditional science communication approaches (such as relying on university press releases about new scientific publications), and new communication approaches (such as utilizing infographics and social media), can each reach a wide audience when successful. However, probability of successful the science communication can be amplified by taking advantage of both traditional and new media, especially when 'sticky' messaging techniques are applied. The example of Cook et al., 2013 (C13), which found a 97% consensus in the peer-reviewed climate literature on human-caused global warming, is considered. C13 implemented this optimal combined communications approach strategy and became the most-downloaded study in all Institute of Physics journals, with over 200,000 downloads to date. Due to the effective 'sticky' messaging approaches implemented by the study authors, its results received broad coverage from international media and reached millions of people via social media. Strategies to avoid misrepresentations of one's work while maximizing the communications efficacy of its key points will also be discussed.