Matt Nisbet in Madison tonight

I’ve been so busy the last few days, I forgot to put up this post. Matt Nisbet, who blogs at Framing Science, is a professor of communication at American University. He will be giving a free talk tonight in Madison on science communication.

His talk is titled What’s Next for Science Communication? Promising Directions and Lingering Distractions. It will be in 1100 Grainger Hall, from 7-9 pm TONIGHT June 25, 2009.

The description:

Despite recent innovations in science communication such as deliberative forums, the application of framing research, and partnerships with the arts and humanities, these approaches are still all too commonly defined as simply novel ways to persuade the public to view scientific debates as scientists and their allies do. Instead, the question should not be how to “sell” the public on science and emerging technologies; but rather how to use communication research and its applications to empower greater public participation in the governance of these issues.

Elaborating on much-discussed articles published at Science, Environment, The Scientist, Nature Biotechnology, and other leading outlets, Nisbet argues that the sophistication of these emerging communication strategies needs to be complemented by an equally sophisticated view of public engagement. In particular, in areas such as biotechnology, evolution, and climate change, Nisbet emphasizes the need to use framing, partnerships with the arts, and new forms of digital journalism to generate “participatory conversations” with diverse publics and stakeholders that result in meaningful input on policy choices and decisions.

This lecture is part of a series on science communication hosted by the Life Sciences Communication department.

I’ll be there taking notes, pictures, mugshots, etc. If you are in town and can’t make it, I hear that it will be videotaped for both online viewing and rebroadcasted by Wisconsin Public Television. Hopefully, Matt will be available during his trip to “one of [his] favorite cities” to do a little interview…

Christmas in Wisconsin

This is the first year that Ariela and I are spending the Winter Holiday season away from our families. We decided to spend Christmas, Kitzmas, Squidmas, Festivus, and the Solstice in Madison to relax, keep warm, and save some money. Since We’ve been in Wisconsin, we’ve traveled five times to California, mostly for wedding-related business. Now that we have a house, finances are suddenly a big thing! Continue reading Christmas in Wisconsin

Hey I just buy coffee here!

My counterpart has just written a scathing sociological critique of Whole Foods market. What do you get when you combine exoticized yet bland ‘ethnic’ food, expensive produce, and subliminal messages in a supermarket?

Whole Foods and other health food stores totally sell stuff that exoticize and commcercialize other people’s cultures. For instance, I saw a box of Zen Flakes. Zen Flakes. Really now.

I’ve got my own criticisms (and kudos) for Whole Paycheck which I might as well post soon, but for now, check this out.

The Haro von Mogel Wedding, Part 1

I meant to post this on May 10, 2008, exactly one year after I popped The Question to Ariela on the air, unscripted, live, and obviously so. But today should do just as well, for it is now exactly one month until the day we get hitched. Let me tell you about The Haro von Mogel Wedding.™

Ariela and I have been together since December 4, 2003. We knew within a few months that we were more than just together, we were an indivisible unit – a system that was more than the sum of its parts, with the emergent property called love. We were friends for half a year before we hooked up, and living as neighbors. But when we got together we were inseparable. Really. We had to flip a coin each night to decide who’s place we slept in, to keep it fair. Before we had left the co-ops we lived in (more like large apartments than anything else), we were fundamentally in an irreducible state.

Ariela was deciding what she wanted to study when we first got together, and she settled on sociology. Ariela’s real passion is music history, particularly classical music, and especially Mozart. I graduated first with my degree in genetics, and a passion for being scientific and communicating things scientific. Sharing interests in philosophy, sleeping in, talking about all things academic and nerdy, food, bees, and buttered popcorn with orange juice, it’s been a real fun time for both of us. We’re all set to build a life together. Actually, we’ve already started.

You know you’re getting married when you start talking about the sound system you’ll eventually buy 2-3 years down the road. Or when you whip out paper to re-design the Ideal Home™ and decide for yourselves what functions belong in each room. Who needs a formal ‘presentation’ living room? What a waste. When I got accepted to grad school, we made plans to move across the country and start anew. It was never a question that we were going together, it didn’t even need to be said. Continue reading The Haro von Mogel Wedding, Part 1

In which someone notices I’m a man

(Cross-posted at Sociologique)

Yesterday morning, Ariela and I were up at the crack of, no, actually we were up before dawn, racing down to WORT 89.9 fm in downtown Madison for a show of Other Voices. from 5-8 AM Ariela was playing some classical music performed by and/or conducted by women. This was, after all, a show intended to highlight the contributions of women to classical music.

You can listen to the show online here at this link, but it is not available to be downloaded as an mp3. (This will be available from now through May 4th 2008 – on May 5th next week’s show will record over it)

For the first hour and forty-five minutes, Ariela went solo, playing music performed by women, and its good stuff if you want to listen to it. At the 105 minute mark (you can skip ahead if you want to), Ariela cut the music that was playing to introduce the next topic: Holst’s The Planets, and some of its influence on science fiction film music. Let me tell you a little about its genesis, and what happened off the air during the show. Continue reading In which someone notices I’m a man