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Broadening Your Impact Diandra L. Leslie-Pelecky Department of Physics & Astronomy University of Nebraska – Lincoln Supported by the National Science Foundation.

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Presentation on theme: "Broadening Your Impact Diandra L. Leslie-Pelecky Department of Physics & Astronomy University of Nebraska – Lincoln Supported by the National Science Foundation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Broadening Your Impact Diandra L. Leslie-Pelecky Department of Physics & Astronomy University of Nebraska – Lincoln Supported by the National Science Foundation

2 Acknowledgements Jack Hehn (American Institute of Physics) Pat Dixon (National High Field Magnet Lab) The Broader Impacts Workshop Participants ( See site/BIT/BIT.php ) Art Ellis (NSF – Chemistry) Tom Rieker, Lance Haworth (NSF – DMR) Henry Blount (NSF – MPS)

3 Outline  Introduction  How Can Broader Impacts Make My Job Easier?  Case Studies and Examples  Conclusions Disclaimer: I do not speak for the NSF or the University of Nebraska. Only I can be blamed for this presentation. Especially the bad jokes

4 My Background Associate Professor of Physics, University of Nebraska – Lincoln Research Areas: Fundamental Magnetism Nanomedicine Synergistic Activities PI, Project Fulcrum (GK-12) RET mentor REU Program Director

5 So What am I Doing Here? Started out as a Radio/TV/Film Major Fifteen years working with K-12 teachers and their students on science education, and on outreach to the general public AFI/AFOSR Catalyst workshops (2004, 2005) UNL MRSEC Science Journalism program UNL MRSEC Science Communications Conference Major popular science book author/television/ curriculum development effort underway

6 …is a fan base for physics.” Overheard at an American Physical Society meeting March 2006 “What we need…

7 STEMmies and Communication

8 Working with Researchers List your biggest challenges working with STEMmies (at your institution or elsewhere) With the two people nearest you, on a piece of paper you will hand in… Please don’t use real names. I may know them.

9 Researchers’ Concerns a)They are going to get it wrong anyway b)It will be a waste of time c)Scientists shouldn’t seek publicity d)They won’t be able to understand me e)They are going to get it wrong anyway f)They are going to make me look stupid g)I will lose the respect of my colleagues h)The public doesn’t care about science and nothing I can say will change that i)They are going to get it wrong anyway j)It’s not my job

10 The Broader Impacts Criterion How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society? What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?

11 The Broader Impacts Criterion Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding?

12 The Broader Impacts Criterion What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

13 Broader Impacts Toolbox Workshop May 2005 Pan Disciplinary Scientists, Education/Outreach Professionals, Professional Society Representatives Goals What resources exist to help scientists fulfill their BI responsibilities? What resources need to be created to help scientists fulfill their BI responsibilities? How do you make scientists and those working primarily in BI activities aware of these resources?

14 BI Toolbox Workshop Conclusions A significant amount of researcher dissatisfaction arises from a widely held belief that the BI criterion is arbitrary, unclear and inconsistently applied. Few STEM researchers receive preparation for fulfilling the broader-impacts criterion. resources they could use to satisfy BI. Researchers don’t know where to look to learn more about BI-related topics

15 The Big Message You can increase researcher cooperation if they understand that you can help them meet their Broader Impacts requirements

16 Some Broader Impacts Case Studies

17 Case Study: Informal Science Centers are in a unique position to leverage their educational/outreach programs Liberty Science Ctr (LSC) & Princeton Ctr for Complex Materials (PCCM) 12 weekends of programming in conjunction with the opening of Strange Matter LSC staff developed a script Frame discussions between speakers (Princeton faculty and graduate students) and audience members Promote audience participation Speakers could use script, alter script, or develop presentations on other subjects PCCM Education Director worked with presenters at Princeton prior to their appearances

18 Case Study: Informal Science “Believe it or not, many of our scientists were nervous at first because this was a new audience for them, and we took away their traditional tools of communication, such as calculus, Power Point presentations and equations” “Every scientist from PCCM who presented at Liberty Science Center came back very pleased with his or her experience.”

19 Case Study: Informal Science “Our guests were thrilled to speak with ‘real’ scientists…This kind of experience allows people to see scientists as people, not as the caricatures which tend to dominate their images in popular culture.”

20 Find the BIs ABSTRACT Prof. Franz Geiger of Northwestern University will seek molecular level information on chromium species interacting with surface groups, with adsorbed and interfacial organic molecules, and water. Such knowledge is essential to achieve an understanding of the interactions of chromium with soil and model relevant aqueous/solid interfaces. This information is of great importance in dealing with a major environmental problem, namely the presence of toxic metals in soils and water. With your group: What might be interesting to the public? How might Prof. Geiger communicate with audiences besides other scientists?

21 Case Study: Individual PI Effect of abandoned uranium mines on water Web-page dissemination of results Involves undergrads in research testing commercial water filters Provided a free pitcher filter for use by reservation residents and marketed program

22 Case Study: Individual PI Freshman chem students come from all over the U.S. One group of students has their parents send soil samples from home. A second group collects soil samples locally Samples analyzed for Fe, Cr and Pb using ICP-mass spectrometry. Web dissemination of results Shows societal applications of chemistry Relates coursework to ‘real life’

23 Find the Broader Impacts … experimental and computational research in nonlinear chemical dynamics, focusing on creating and understanding a variety of new phenomena involving … pattern formation in reaction-diffusion systems. Four areas will be explored. First, the behavior of oscillating chemical reactions in water-oil-surfactant microemulsions will be examined; Next, external light source perturbation will be used to probe Turing patterns, standing waves, and cluster patterns in the chlorine dioxide-iodine-malonic acid reaction, to seek new forms of resonant behavior and to study the facts of growth on pattern formation. …efforts will be undertaken to develop a systematic understanding of "chemical optics," the behavior of various types of chemical waves involving reflection, refraction, diffraction, and interference. Finally, new systems for pattern formation studies will be developed. Research outcomes will have potential applications to biology, catalysis, and information processing. As well, these phenomena are aesthetically appealing, and demonstrations and presentations can interest a wide range of scientific and lay audiences.

24 Case Study: Individual PI

25 Some Interesting Projects

26 University of Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Engineering Center w/School of Journalism and Mass Communication Two-day workshop funded 12 state and national journalists Overview of nano-vocabulary Current state-of-the-art research Hands-on experience with nanotechnology equipment Discussion of public policy implications Future workshops will focus on Policy makers Business community

27 University of Wisconsin

28 UNL - Science Journalism Project  Started summer 2005  Faculty supervisor: Carolyn Johnsen (College of Journalism) Scientists Writers  Goals  Share MRSEC news with the public  Prepare writers to accurately report science  Provide a resource for scientists to publicize their own research  Two students Fall 2005  Wrote eight stories about  MRSEC faculty collaborations with industry  Nanomaterials in cancer research (at Lincoln Journal Star)  High-school teachers in the RET  Working on writing nuggets Writers Scientists

29 UNL- Science Journalism Project Scientists Writers

30 The Material World: Modern Alchemy CalTech Materials Research Science and Engineering Center/WETA Topics Digging deep tunnels (especially through earthquake-prone regions) Fuel Cell Cars Ancient Paints (w/Getty Museum) Rubber (Goodyear Tires) Jelly Belly Flavors (the chemistry of food science) Nitrocellulose Nylon Polymers Quartz San Andreas Fault Observatory Soldier Suit Synthetic Fibers Teflon

31 When Things Get Small Thirty-minute film (physicist Ivan Schuller of UCSD and producer Rich Wargo) supported by NSF and others ($400,000) Won four awards at the West Coast Emmys last week “Zany graphics and low-tech special effects are used to illustrate the finer points of nanotech, like the quantum tunneling of electrons through thin surfaces of matter” "Most people think science is boring," Schuller says. "Why should we pretend that we're like everyone else?"

32 When Things Get Small “An irreverent, madcap, comically corny romp into all things “nano” “A corny romp through Schuller's research into building the world's smallest magnet”

33 Most Studies Show… Scientists want to communicate with the public effectively We recognize it’s important and a part of our jobs We don’t know where to go or what to do to learn how to do it We don’t feel we can invest a lot of time communicating/learning how to communicate

34 The U.S. is Behind Europe – especially the UK – has many more opportunities for scientists to learn about communicating outside their own communities Publications Short courses Foundations specifically for promoting science communication Media fellowships Conferences

35 Resources See the resources section of the website: for more

36 Communicating Science to Broader Audiences  Travel Grants for:  Junior faculty, postdocs and senior graduate students  Faculty, postdocs and graduate students from MSIs  Confirmed speakers include  Jennifer Ouellette (Black Bodies and Quantum Cats; The Physics of the Buffy-verse)  Sidney Perkowitz (Empire of Light; Universal Foam) will give a talk for the general public on science in the movies  Curt Suplee (Director of the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, NSF and former Washington Post science writer)  W. Wayt Gibbs, Science Writer (Scientific American, many others)  April 12/13 th, Lincoln NE 

37 Communicating Science to Broader Audiences: Program Panel Discussions Using film, television and theatre to communicate science Communicating research to the public Communicating with policymakers Using popular culture (sports, television, etc.) to communicate science How science communications can be incorporated into science and journalism education Public talk on Science and Film

38 Communicating Science to Broader Audiences: Goals Raise awareness of the importance of STEM researchers communicating science to broader audiences in the context of the NSF Broader Impacts criterion, and the general health of the scientific enterprise; Help scientists: more effectively communicate research or general science directly to audiences outside their immediate community; and improve their ability to work with writers by helping researchers understand the constraints writers face and how those constraints affect the information and manner in which they communicate science; Help writers understand researchers’ concerns about how and what science reaches the public;

39 Communicating Science to Broader Audiences: Goals Develop a web-based resource that captures the essential conclusions and debates of the conference, and localizes resources that STEM researchers and journalists can use to improve science communication in multiple media; Initiate a discussion between researchers and writers about the challenges involved in communicating science and scientific research to broader audiences; and how these challenges might be addressed within the undergraduate and graduate education of scientists and journalists

40 Helping Researchers Communicate a)Involve me in the stuff you really need me for: let me know when you need me and for how long. b)Tell me what to expect – give me a practice run if necessary c)Tell me if there is anything I absolutely should NOT say d)Even though the guides I mentioned are great resources i.I probably won’t find time to read them. ii.The information I need is buried. Give me something with bullet points and only the essentials. e)Give me some feedback – if I did good, let me know; if not, tell me what I could do differently next time

41 Example Resource American Geophysical Union: You and the Media

42 Please… …Tell other communicators how you did it Don’t just communicate science to the public…

43 Conclusions Help researchers fulfill Broader Impacts by communicating with audiences outside the scientific community Most researchers want to be good communicators with the public – help them do so

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