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Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences to Advance Your Work Paperback – February 25, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0199732050 ISBN-10: 0199732051 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Meredith delivers an avalanche of guidance on every facet of explaining research, from giving compelling Powerpoint presentations to advising museum exhibits, shooting videos, writing press releases, and talking with the media and with policymakers. Explaining Resarch includes some astonishing and useful minutiae: When writing for print or the Web, one should revise sentences that contain too many short letters such as a, c and n, because its easier to read text that combines short letters with tall ones. Readers are reminded to go to the bathroom before participating in Web conferences, and to wear tall socks for television interviews, lest their calves peek out below their pant legs." -- American Scientist


"Research Explainer Meredith provides more than an expression of opinion regarding the urgent need to reach the public and bridge the gap in science. He provides data and information on the trends that will be quite surprising to most scientists in his "Introduction: Explaining Your Research Is a Professional Necessity." The remainder of the book is a well thought out How-to guideline for scientists who wish to create a communication strategy that is effective in today's world. [Meredith] creates a compelling case to motivate scientists into action and he provides an authoritative guide to show how it can be done. Any scientist in today's culture of media should have 'Explaining Research' on hand."--The Physiologist


"...a huge range of tools and techniques are presented and successfully explained, with additional material available online through Meredith's blog and website. The book is consistently positive and encouraging, convincing the reader the step up and engage with the public, balancing aspirational suggestions with cautionary tales. Meredith wears his extensive experience lightly and his engaging style and up-to-date material are sure to make this book extremely popular as the need to tailor research communication to new audiences grows."--Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry


"During his 40-year career, veteran US science communicator Dennis Meredith has written thousands of press releases and magazine articles while serving a string of leading American universities. In Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences to Advance Your Work Meredith distils this experience into a fabulous guide for scientists seeking to communicate the fruits of their labours. Meredith offers stacks of advice on everything from creating a great website and crafting a well-written press release to preparing online videos and writing a blog. It is inspiring stuff, yet rooted in reality for example, Meredith provides useful PowerPoint tips (F5 starts a presentation; the space bar shifts to the next slide) and offers a list of "thrifty" words that can substitute for long ones ("do" not "perform", "end" not "terminate" and so on)."-- Physics World


"An excellent guidebook, full of practical tips and advice and, just as important, key things to avoid and illustration of how not to do it, so that readers can, as the subheading says, 'reach key audiences to advance their research'." --Chemistry World


"A highly readable compendium of techniques to get your message out from a PR pro. No matter how good you are at gaining "mind-share", you will learn something new from this book."
-- Brian Snow, NSA IAD Technical Director, 1996-2002


"It is so important for scientists and engineers to communicate their work to the public no matter what field they are in. Explaining Research provides great advice to those new to the experience, and there's opportunity for the more experienced among us to learn, too." -- Peter Agre, M.D., Nobel Laureate


"This book is what every scientist needs - a communication coach who gives you the tools to succeed while simultaneously urging you forward and cheering you on." -- Bruce Lewenstein, Professor of Science Communication, Cornell University


"Explaining Research is a must-have, must-read not only for its primary target audience, scientists, researchers, and engineers, but also, given the new media landscape, for just about anyone eager to enhance his/her science communication skills." -- Ben Patrusky, Executive Director, Council for the Advancement of Science Writing


Listed in Science Book News


"The author shares a wealth of experience and common sense in this wide-ranging guide to communicating scientific research. Any researcher who samples this book's 27 clearly titled chapters will be better equipped to decide what is worth doing and how to get it done."
-- Elizabeth Bass, The Quarterly Review of Biology


About the Author


Dennis Meredith's career as a science communicator has included service at some of the country's leading research universities, including MIT, Caltech, Cornell, Duke and the University of Wisconsin. He has worked with science journalists at all the nation's major newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV networks and has written thousands of news releases and magazine articles on science and engineering over his career.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (February 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199732051
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199732050
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.9 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dennis Meredith's career as a science communicator has included service at some of the country's leading research universities, including MIT, Caltech, Cornell, Duke and the University of Wisconsin. He has worked with science journalists at all the nation's major newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV networks and has written well over a thousand news releases and magazine articles on science and engineering over his career.

He has served on the executive board of the National Association of Science Writers and has written numerous articles and guidebooks on science writing and science communication. He has also served as a judge and manager for the NASW Science-in-Society Awards and the AAAS Science Writing Awards.

He was a creator and developer of EurekAlert!, working with AAAS to establish this international research news service, which now links more than 4,500 journalists to news from 800 subscribing research institutions.

In 2007, he was elected as a AAAS Fellow "for exemplary leadership in university communications, and for important contributions to the theory and practice of research communication." In 2012 he was named the year's Honorary Member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.

He holds a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Texas (1968) and an M.S. in biochemistry and science writing from the University of Wisconsin (1970).

He is currently writing science articles, non-fiction books and science fiction novels. He also develops and conducts communication workshops for researchers seeking to enhance their communication skills, both professional and lay-level. He has developed workshops for researchers at universities, research foundations, and government agencies and laboratories.

Find out more at: www.DennisMeredith.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
"Explaining Research" shows the way in an engaging, informative format.
Jeff Grabmeier
Meredith states that PIO's can be invaluable allies in the researcher's efforts to spread their work.
Charlene Rubush
Bravo! "Explaining Research" is a tour-de-force that I immediately put on my desk for easy reference.
Dianne L. Izzo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Grabmeier on March 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
In an era in which science and technology plays such an important role in our lives, we need to have scientists and engineers talk to us about their work. That's why I am so pleased to have found "Explaining Research" by Dennis Meredith. Even scientists who want to explain their work to the public may be at a loss on how to do that. "Explaining Research" shows the way in an engaging, informative format. Scientists learn how explain their work clearly to the public, target key audiences, and work with the news media. While Meredith discusses all the traditional ways of reaching the public, he also delves into new media like blogs and podcasts. As someone who works with scientists all the time, I will highly recommend this book to the researchers I meet. Scientists who read and follow Meredith's advice will feel more confident and able to communicate their research to a broad audience.Explaining Research: How to Reach Key Audiences to Advance Your Work
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dianne L. Izzo on February 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book helps everyone with a need to communicate science to non-scientists (I'm talking to you, my lawyer compadres). Every chapter provides targeted tips for the evolving media world, from wikis to webinars.
Before law school I was a technical copywriter and for decades I've been married to a journalist. Thus, I can personally vouch for the authentic truths spoken in this handy volume -- cover to cover, it packs in everything you should know about turning the most intricate research into a story people will enjoy hearing.
Bravo! "Explaining Research" is a tour-de-force that I immediately put on my desk for easy reference. Dennis Meredith practices what he preaches -- the tone is readable and the content is bona fide.
My advice? Buy two and give one to a very good friend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. BRATCHER on January 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book, while primarily aimed at the scientific researcher, is really all about communicating, and contains an abundance of useful info that could and should appeal to a wider audience of researchers than just the scientific kind. The author presents the topics and tools in a format that has just the right amount of details and is entertaining to read. For anyone who wants to "get the word out" this book would be a valuable resource and I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
I had never even thought about the services a Public Information Officer (PIO) provides until I read this book. The author, Dennis Meredith, has been a science communicator who has worked at some of the countries leading research universities.

These include MIT, Caltech, Cornell, Duke, and the University of Wisconsin. He has also worked with science journalists at all of the nation's major newspapers, magazines, and radio and tv networks.

He notes that working with a Public Information Officer (PIO), can serve a researcher in many ways, such as:

* An editorial and media relations expert, writing and distributing news releases, pitching media on feature story ideas, developing media strategy, managing communications crises, and more.

* An institutional ambassador, conveying to administrators the significance of your research and your positions on issues important to your success.

* An educator, teaching you how to develop clear research explanations and work with media.

* A hard questioner, confronting you with those tough questions that you must answer if you are to preserve your reputation and advance your work.

Meredith states that PIO's can be invaluable allies in the researcher's efforts to spread their work. This guide is intended to help the researcher develop the most productive relationships with PIO's, whether they are in an institution, such as a university, at a journal, in a scientific society, or in a funding agency

The author explains the differences between the two types of PIO's, the Sales Rep, and the PIO journalist.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
With rare expertise, academic rigor and an engaging writing style, Dennis Meredith has masterfully laid out in plain English the ABCs and fine points of explaining scientific research to scientists and non-scientists alike. Chapters on how to give compelling talks or create effective poster presentations will help researchers do a better job of explaining their work at scientific meetings. Numerous other chapters will prove indispensable to researchers who need to tell their story to administrators, funders, legislators, journalists, or the general public. With a super-keen understanding of his topic and insights born of four decades as a communicator for top-notch research institutions, Meredith has authored a book that is bursting at the seams with useful, relevant information. Extremely well-grounded in traditional methods of organizational journalism, such as news releases, feature stories and still photography, Meredith seems equally well-versed in newer ways of presenting research to wide audiences, such as video news releases, wikis and blogs. All in all, the book should be required reading not only for scientists, but for public information officers (PIOs), writers, editors, and multimedia producers at research institutions.
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