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A Scientist's Guide to Talking with the Media Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists by Richard Hayes, Daniel Grossman

A Scientist's Guide to Talking with the Media Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists



A Scientist's Guide to Talking with the Media Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists by Richard Hayes, Daniel Grossman

Research in most scientific disciplines calls for painstaking accuracy and a hesitation to generalize for fear of distorting the truth. Given this penchant for nuance, scientists often feel uneasy about a relationship with anyone in the media who is seeking an eye-catching lead, usually with limited space to express subtleties. Researchers who give interviews often feel that their findings are distorted or sensationalized, and shun future media contact. By avoiding potential misrepresentations, however, scientists also sacrifice opportunities to educate the public on important issues related to health, the environment, outer space, and much more. In A Scientist's Guide to Talking with the Media , Richard Hayes and Daniel Grossman draw on their expertise in public relations and journalism to empower researchers in a variety of fields to spread their message on their own terms. The authors provide tips on how to translate abstract concepts into concrete metaphors, craft soundbites, and prepare for interviews. For those looking for a higher profile, the authors explain how to become a reporter's trusted source - the first card in the Rolodex - on controversial issues. A must-read for all scientists, this book shows how it is possible for the discoveries that hibernate in lecture halls and academic journals to reach a broader audience in a way that is accurate and effective.


This is an invaluable guide for scientists seeking to learn how to better communicate with - and through - the media. The book gives the kind of insight into news operations that will allow researchers to better understand the process and to feel more comfortable talking with reporters. And the timing is just right - now more than ever we need an improved public understanding of science and the way it affects our lives. - Deborah Blum, 1992 Pulitzer Prize winner for beat reporting on primate research

About the Author

Richard Hayes is media director of the Union of Concerned Scientists, an independent nonprofit alliance of more than 100,000 citizens and scientists. He lives in Arlington, Virginia. Daniel Grossman is a science journalist, radio and Web producer, and educator who has covered the science beat for more than eighteen years. He lives in Watertown, Massachusetts.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th August 2006


Richard Hayes, Daniel Grossman

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Rutgers University Press


192 pages


Science: general issues
Press & journalism



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