An enormous freight ship, with shipping containers stacked more than 10 layers high like toy blocks, can be seen touching both sides of the Suez Canal. It's so big that a big tractor-digger on the shore looks like a tiny insect. The foreground is stacked containers from the ship from which this photo was taken.

Navigating Mindsets | April 2021 News and Things

News and Things for April 2021
Curated by Ben Young Landis

  • Helping U.S. science writers engage bicultural audiences
  • The Ever Given as a lesson on Asian language bias
  • Sneak Peek: Navigating policymaker mindsets
  • Tracking examples of #CalmSciComm
  • Helping trans researchers update deadnames in academic citations
  • Mapping migraciones of birds and humanity
  • Recent and upcoming events

Our Good Work

Updates on lasting impact originating from our own designs and creations

CómoSciWri Revisited: Resources to Help Science Writers Engage Bicultural Audiences in the United States

The newest addition to my design stories portfolio is a long-awaited revisit of the #CómoSciWri project, which began in 2016 with a conference panel organized for the National Association of Science Writers annual meeting. Gathering expert speakers from education, public outreach, and journalism and using the U.S. Latinx experience as a focal point, these Communicating Ciencia sessions challenged science writers to embrace diversity and inclusion best practices in their work. Lessons from this project were finally published in the Inclusive SciComm special collection in the Frontiers journals in 2020 — and we coauthors are proud to present this open-access article. (Read the CómoSciWri design story | Download the Frontiers journal article | Visit the Communicating Ciencia homepage)

In Writing: How the World’s Most Famous Stranded Ship Offered a Teachable Moment on Asian Language Bias

When a massive container ship became stranded in the Suez Canal in March 2021, the ship’s seemingly strange name stirred confusion among Western audiences. But the Ever Given and the Evergreen company name actually offer a conversation starter on branding, cultural context, and unconscious bias against Asian languages by English-speaking audiences. Read my thoughts in writing, coauthored with Professor Oscar C.H. Yang of National Taiwan Ocean University. (Read the commentary “Live Long and Ever Given” | Retweet this essay | Follow our tweets)

Workshop Sneak Peek: Navigating Policymaker Mindsets

Starting last year, we’ve been working on revamping our original “Helping Science Inform Policy” #SciPolcomm curriculum into a three-part workshop series. The opening workshop is now titled “SciPolComm 101: Navigating Policymaker Mindsets” and has already been piloted for the NorCal SETAC 2020 Annual Meeting, Science Talk ‘21, and UC Davis FUTURE. This foundational workshop imagines the key players of the policymaking landscape as characters from fantasy role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, using California as an example of how these dynamic forces interact to shape and enact public policy. (Share this SciPolComm 101 tweet | Follow the SciPolComm hashtagBring SciPolComm 101 to your campus)

The Good Work of Others

Great ideas by other creatives benefiting science, environment, and society

#CalmSciComm: Tracking Examples of Messaging in a Pandemic

Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been collecting examples of public messaging and science communication that focus on context or on design, rather than fear. The curated thread can be found on Twitter under the hashtag #CalmSciComm, and they include great examples like the “mousetrap distancing” PSA produced for the Ohio Department of Health in April 2020 and the Aquí Nos Cuidamos campaign by Ciencia Puerto Rico from March 2021. Join the search, and tag great examples you find online! (Tweet the Ohio PSATweet the Puerto Rico campaign | Follow #CalmSciComm)

A Proposal for Helping Trans Researchers Easily Update Deadnames in Publication Records

In March 2021, Duke University PhD student Leo Chan Gaskins published a creative proposal via PLOS Biology for a single, centralized name change process benefiting trans researchers, replacing deadnames that may exist in online academic publishing platforms. “Allowing for invisible name changes is a matter of dignity for trans researchers. This would prevent their own publication record from outing them without their consent.” (Read the Gaskins and McClain article | Share Leo’s tweet)

Audubon Society and Latino Outdoors Launch “Mapping Migraciones” Story Project

In February 2021, two renowned nonprofits Latino Outdoors and the National Audubon Society unveiled a collaborative project called Mapping Migraciones. The interactive online map — beautifully created using ArcGIS — uses migratory bird data and stories submitted by individuals and families to paint an interwoven portrait of how birds and people are connected through geography and culture. It’s a wonderful storytelling concept worth sharing and amplifying. (Explore Mapping Migraciones online | Share this page on Twitter)

Events and Appearances Calendar

Bookmark for full calendar

May 4th and 6th Workshop: “Connecting with Your Audience: Tools for Effective Science Communication” with Ben Young Landis. Presented for UC Santa Cruz Coastal Science & Policy Program (Virtual)

May 21st Workshop: “#SciPolComm 103: Communicating to the California State Legislature” with Ben Young Landis and special guest. Presented for UC Davis FUTURE (Virtual)

May 24th Workshop: “#SciPolComm 101: Navigating Policymaker Mindsets” with Ben Young Landis and special guest. Presented for UC Santa Cruz Coastal Science & Policy Program (Virtual)

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

— Ben Young Landis