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K-State Today

November 6, 2017



Science Communication Week arrives to celebrate big ideas and discoveries

By Jennifer Tidball

Photo credit: Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Science Communication Week has something for everybody, from workshops with NPR science correspondents to professional development and research presentations. 

The first Science Communication Week starts today and runs through Saturday, Nov. 11. Kansas State University, Sunset Zoo and the Flint Hills Discovery Center have organized the week of events to communicate science and celebrate big ideas. 

Highlights of the week include NPR science correspondents Joe Palca and Maddie Sofia and National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson. Palca and Sofia also will give public presentations and offer workshops for students, faculty, researchers and communicators. 

Science Communication Week is part of the Kansas Science Communication Initiative and will incorporate other events such as Research and the State, Science Café, Science on Tap and Science Saturday. 

The Kansas Science Communication Initiative, or KSCI, brings together Kansas State University and the community to engage people in talking about science and research. 

Science Communication Week is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President, the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Graduate School, the Center for Engagement and Community Development, the Division of Biology, the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, the Division of Communications and Marketing, the Department of English, Sunset Zoo and the Flint Hills Discovery Center. 

A full Science Communication Week schedule is below. For more information visit k-state.edu/scicomm/events or check the Kansas Science Communication Initiative Facebook page at facebook.com/KansasScienceCommunicationInitiative. Follow the initiative on Twitter at @KS_SCI

• Monday, Nov. 6, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., 207 K-State Student Union, Science Communication Research Colloquium. Han Yu, professor of English, and Colene Lind, assistant professor of communication studies, each will present their science communication research. Yu will present "How genetics is visualized for U.S. public audiences and the problems and promises of those efforts" and Lind will present "Who needs to know what? Knowledge as resource in public debates about water." 

• Monday, Nov. 6, 7 p.m., Flint Hills Discovery Center, 515 S. Third St., Manhattan, "Seeing science (and telling the tale)" with National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson. Presenting images and their stories, Richardson will share his National Geographic career covering science stories ranging from neolithic archeology, soil, agriculture and feeding the planet, geology in the Scottish islands, genetically modified foods, prairie ecology, light pollution, dark skies and more.

• Tuesday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., second floor, Hale Library, Expressions of Science: K-State Libraries Scholarship Expo. Explore science communication for the senses while K-Staters present their research via art, digital media and interactive exhibits.

• Tuesday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m., Radina's Coffeehouse and Roastery, 616 N. Manhattan Ave., Manhattan, Sigma Xi Science Café: "Genomes, body plans, birth defects (and sea squirts!)" with Michael Veeman, assistant professor of biology. Learn how research in diverse model organisms is illuminating embryonic development and why it is relevant to diseases like birth defects and cancer. 

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., USDA-ARS Center for Grain and Animal Health Research Open House, 1515 College Ave., Manhattan. Learn how Manhattan's largest structure and the research tools inside help improve the lives of the public at the open house for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, USDA-ARS, center.

• Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7 to 8:30 p.m., Tallgrass Tap House, 320 Poyntz Ave., Science on Tap: "Avoiding controversy when covering controversial science" with NPR science correspondent Joe Palca. Some science topics have become hot-button issues because they touch on politically or socially sensitive issues. How do you present these topics in a way that avoids appearing partisan? Palca will try to provide some answers to that question.

• Thursday, Nov. 9, 10 to 11:30 a.m., Purple Masque Theatre, West Stadium, "Improv for scientists" with NPR science correspondent Maddie Sofia. Sofia will help scientists think about communication in new ways through an improv technique made popular by the Alan Alda Center for Science Communication. These practices help scientists learn to listen to an audience, pick up on social cues, and communicate in a more relaxed and approachable way. This workshop is limited to 25 graduate students and registration is required

• Thursday, Nov. 9, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., Cottonwood Room, K-State Student Union, FOJBI lunch with NPR science correspondent Maddie Sofia. Learn how to get ongoing support for your science communication efforts from the Friends of Joe's Big Idea, or FOJBI, community. Lunch is provided but registration is required.

• Thursday, Nov. 9, noon to 5 p.m., K-State Student Union, Research and the State. Join the Graduate Student Council and the Graduate School as they host the 2017 Research and the State event. This campuswide research forum will provide an outlet for graduate students to share how their research is important to the state of Kansas. The top presenters will represent the university in Topeka next semester.

• Thursday, Nov. 9, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Forum Hall in the K-State Student Union, "Explaining the universe in two minutes or less" with NPR science correspondent Joe Palca. The news media is frequently accused of "dumbing down" science, but that's an unfair criticism. Palca will provide examples of reporting on complex science topics and show how to pack information into two minutes. A reception and exhibition with Sunset Zoo Science Communication Fellows will follow the presentation.

• Friday, Nov. 10, 8:30 to 10 a.m., Hemisphere Room, Hale Library, communication panel discussion with NPR science correspondents Joe Palca and Maddie Sofia. This breakfast event will give university communications staff an opportunity to engage in a Q&A discussion with Palca and Sofia. Breakfast is provided but registration is required.

• Saturday, Nov. 11, 1 to 3 p.m., Sunset Zoo, 2333 Oak St., Manhattan, Science Saturday. Science Saturdays offer families and guests of all ages fun, hands-on activities to discover this fascinating world. Featuring the Science Communication Fellows, this come-and-go event shares their research in a unique and exciting way. The zoo will offer free admission in honor of Veterans Day.

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