People and shadows of the summer, seen from above on the upper deck of the Golden One Center in Sacramento, California. The shadows are long under the approach dusk light. The people look small from high above. (Photo by Ben Young Landis)

Looks and Identities | June-July 2019

News and Things for June-July 2019
Curated by Ben Young Landis

  • Conversational scicomm workshop returns July 26th
  • A global community for science journalists
  • Do you have the tools for science policy engagement?
  • Peeling back Los Angeles to reveal Tovaangar
  • Identity, labels, and the multigenerational mixed-race child
  • Depicting the looks of bias that black men face
  • Upcoming workshops and events

#CWYAscicomm Workshop Back in Action on July 26th

Postponed from June, “Connecting with Your Audience: Tools for Effective Science Communication” returns to Sacramento on Friday, July 26th. Designed for anyone who needs to explain technical concepts to non-experts, this afternoon workshop provides an introduction to the art of conversational scicomm through interactive learning, team work, and improv practice. Open to professionals and students in government, academia, and industry — walk away with new skills to convey the importance of your work to grantmakers, policymakers, the media, and the public! (Register for our July 26th workshop in Sacramento | Find past #CWYAscicomm workshop photos on Twitter)

A Global Community for Science Journalists

The 11th World Conference of Science Journalists (#WCSJ2019) recently concluded in Lausanne, Switzerland, convening more than 1,000 reporters, public information officers, and writers from around the world. Its predecessor—#WCSJ2017 in San Francisco—faced the same hurdles of reaching prospective registrants across countries and professions. To solve this messaging challenge, Ben Young Landis and Kelly Tyrrell created the social media campaign “Identity” to instill a sense of unity and calls to action—inviting global colleagues to join in conversation and rally around their shared societal mission. (Read the “Identity” campaign story in our portfolio | Share the Wakelet recap)

Teaching Students and Postdocs the Tools for State-Level Policy Engagement

UC Davis FUTURE is a career exploration program serving students and postdocs in research fields advancing health. The final workshop we hosted for UCD FUTURE this spring season was “Helping Science Inform Policy: Tools for State-Level Policy Engagement” held on June 17th. Co-taught by Ben Young Landis and Dr. Sarah Brady from CCST, the course uses the California legislative process to teach the elements of state-level policymaking, tips for communicating science advice, the difference between engaging as advisor versus advocate, and pathways for careers in science policy. (Browse photos from our #SciPolComm workshop | Request a #SciPolComm workshop)

L.A. Times Interactive Story Reveals the Lost Tribal Language of Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Times premiered a gorgeous multimedia interactive story package in May bringing to life the lost language of the Tongva—the tribal culture of what is now Los Angeles that was erased under Spanish, Mexican, and United States rule. The “Finding Tonvaangar” story uses audio clips and video to document an effort to revive the Tongva language, while a scrolling interactive (built with MapBox and OpenStreetMap) overlays the Tonvaangar landscape of villages over modern-day Los Angeles. (Explore “Finding Tonvaangar” at | Turn back time with the interactive Tongva map)

What’s In a Name: Identity, Labels, and the Multigenerational Mixed-Race Family

How do we communicate our identity when society reinforces tidy labels—or worse, ignorant stereotypes? For biracial individuals and their children, even a given name can trigger questions and conflicts. “My daughter belongs to one of the fastest-growing groups of Americans—those who are multiracial—yet we still have insufficient language to talk about who she is,” writes journalist and author Akemi Johnson in her reflective essay “What Does a Multigenerational Mixed-Race Family Look Like?” (Read in Catapult)

New Ad Confronts “The Look” That Black Men Face in the United States

The Procter & Gamble corporation unveiled its latest social impact ad “The Look” at the Cannes Lions festival in June. Created in collaboration with Saturday Morning—an advertising industry collective seeking to address racial bias—the film depicts the glares, stares, and doubting looks an African American man faces as he goes about his day. The film’s framing alternates between the perspective of the man and the narrative lens, forcing viewers to experience each situation and reflect on their own reactions. (Watch the P&G ad “The Look” | Read the backstory via Advertising Age)

Upcoming Events

July 26th Workshop: “Connecting with Your Audience: Tools for Effective Science Communication” with Ben Young Landis (Sacramento, California)

October 25th Meeting: Second Congress of Regional Science Writers Groups (State College, Pennsylvania)

October 26th Panel: “How Can We Solve the Diversity Dearth in U.S. Science Writing?” produced by Ben Young Landis, Clinton Parks, and Kelly Tyrrell (State College, Pennsylvania)

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“Have fun. Do no harm. Leave the world a better place.”

— Ben Young Landis