Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference
Metcalf Institute organized a special session for journalists attending the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference January 21 through 23, 2013, in New Orleans. The conference, hosted by 13 sponsoring agencies, provided a forum for the research community in the Gulf of Mexico to share their latest scientific results.
The Gulf is a dynamic and complex system that is facing several issues, such as nonpetroleum pollution, hypoxia, coastal development, erosion and inundation, and climate change. This Conference helped to engage and build a community of researchers working on all aspects of Gulf of Mexico ecosystem science and initiate dialogue with the users of that information.
At the Conference, the research community in the Gulf of Mexico shared their latest scientific results to: brought greater context and integration to ongoing research; shared scientific information with attendees to initiate dialogue about how research will impact processes for policy, conservation, and management; and enhanced public understanding of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.
The three-day Conference included a keynote address by Admiral Thad Allen (United States Coast Guard, Retired), who led the federal government’s response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Allen will be available for interviews following the session. A plenary panel of five distinguished speakers, 19 scientific sessions, 519 abstracts for oral and poster presentations, a public forum on the broader understanding of the current status of the Gulf of Mexico, and a media-specific special science translation session. More details are provided below. For a full Conference schedule, click here.
Science Translation Session Led by Metcalf Institute
Journalists who register for the conference were encouraged to attend a special science translation session on the first day of the conference, led by Metcalf Institute Executive Director Sunshine Menezes, Ph.D. The 2.5-hour session provided an overview of how to most effectively interpret and translate scientific findings from the conference for news audiences.
Science Translation Session for Registered Journalists, January 21, 2013:
10:15-11:00 Building Blocks of Scientific Knowledge
Understanding the steps scientists take to progress from developing a research question to publishing a paper can improve your ability to report on the science underlying environmental issues. This discussion provided an overview of the entire process including dissemination of research results at conferences and through peer-reviewed publications.
11:00-11:45 Graphing for Communication of Complex Data
Many journalists rely solely on scientific abstracts to summarize the results of a new study. This session provided participants with tips on how to gather more information from scientific publications through an explanation of how to better interpret graphs and some commonly used statistical tools.
11:45-12:45 Explaining Scientific Complexity
Researchers discussed some of the more newsworthy findings to be presented at the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science conference, with plenty of time for Q&A.
This seminar was funded by: