Island Press has assembled a panel to discuss strategies for communicating science and why it's important to try creating a science savvy public. Science is increasingly in the public spotlight, with recent events such as oil spills, failing fisheries, bitter debates over climate change, and a controversial new ocean policy, yet technical subject matter can be tricky for scientists to convey to journalists, policymakers, or even the general public.
A zoologist and science writer, Nancy Baron is the Ocean Science Outreach Director for COMPASS. She is also the lead communications trainer for the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program. In these capacities, she works with environmental scientists helping them translate their work effectively to journalists, the public and policy makers.
Baron holds communications training workshops around the world for academic scientists, graduate students and post docs as well as government and NGO scientists. She has an interdisciplinary Masters degree in Global Marine Studies from the University of British Columbia, a B.Sc. in Zoology and has won numerous science writing awards.
In August 2010 Baron completed a communications guide book for scientists titled Escape from the Ivory Tower: A Guide to Making Your Science Matter (published by Island Press). This book summarizes her ten years of experience working as a personal coach and trainer to many well-known environmental scientists. It includes contributions from her COMPASS colleagues, as well as the voices and experiences of leading journalists and scientists.
A born-and-bred Washington, Juliet Eilperin graduated in 1992 magna cum
laude from Princeton University, where she received a bachelor’s in
Politics with a certificate in Latin American Studies. In the fall of
1992 she went to Seoul, South Korea on a Luce Scholarship, which allowed
her to cover politics and economics for an English-language magazine.
Returning to Washington, Ms. Eilperin wrote for Louisiana and Florida
papers at States News Service and then joined Roll Call newspaper after
the Republicans seized Congress in 1994. In March 1998 she joined The
Washington Post as its House of Representatives reporter, where she
covered the impeachment of Bill Clinton, lobbying, legislation, and four
national congressional campaigns.
Since April of 2004 she has covered the environment for the national
desk, reporting on science, policy and politics in areas including
climate change, oceans, and air quality. In pursuit of these stories she
has gone scuba diving with sharks in the Bahamas, trekking on the
Arctic tundra, and searching on her hands and knees for rare insects in
the caves of Tennessee.
During her first year at the Post Ms. Eilperin was the most prolific
writer on the news staff, writing more than 200 stories. In the spring
of 2005 she served as the McGraw Professor of Journalism at Princeton
University, teaching political reporting to a group of undergraduate and
Virginia Kromm is Vice President of Communications and Development at Island Press.
John McCosker is the Senior Scientist and Chair of the Department of Aquatic Biology at the California Academy of Sciences.
An expert in the fields of coral reef science and conservation management, Michael Webster earned a Ph.D. in coral reef fish ecology from Oregon State University. After graduate school, Webster joined the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at Oregon State University, where he coordinated the scientific activities of a long-term ecosystem research and monitoring project focused on the ecology and oceanography of the California Current Ecosystem.
Webster then joined the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, where he developed and managed a portfolio of more than $40 million in grants focused on the conservation, management, and scientific understanding of Pacific salmon ecosystems. He has worked with leaders at a wide array of conservation organizations, management agencies, and universities to identify and meet funding needs while developing strategic plans to increase the long-term effectiveness of conservation initiatives. Webster is a certified divemaster and has conducted coral reef field research in the Bahamas and Australia.