Photo composition of fruits on an old, worn bamboo cutting boardm, full of old knife marks. Some cherries are scattered to the upper left. A large mango fills the upper right corner. In the center view is a ripe avocado cut in half, exposing the large, nearly spherical seed. A whole avocado rests nearby. Water droplets adorn the fruits. The style is hypersaturated in color and contrast, accentuating the shadows and cuts. (Photo by Ben Young Landis)

Delicious, Durable, Dispersible | June 2021 News and Things

News and Things for June 2021
Curated by Ben Young Landis

  • Dispersing your seeds of creative change
  • Steps to knowing your audience
  • SciPolComm workshop inspires one career
  • Biology via crochet for the blind
  • Can you say it in Mutsun?
  • Representing trans and nonbinary voices in YA audiobooks
  • Recent and upcoming events

Our Good Work

Updates on lasting impact originating from our own designs and creations

In Writing: What’s the Dispersal Strategy for Your Seeds of Creative Change?

Whether you’re a writer, designer, or social impact leader, you only have so much time and energy in a day to work on your projects, forage for new ones, and advertise your good work and worth to the world. In this new essay co-written with writer, artist, and facilitator José G. González, we offer some advice for creative changemakers seeking to make impact while saving time and working smarter. Our inspiration? The dispersal strategies of plant seeds. (Read our new essay | Share on Twitter | Explore José’s Portfolio)

A Formula for Thinking Through the Mindset of Your SciComm Audience

A staple of science communication training is the refrain “know your audience” — yet few courses and worksheets offer a guided structure to help the user think constructively about their target audience. If you’re a technical expert or career skills mentor who’s been looking for such a helpful template, download our Connecting with Your Audience worksheet. This self-guided, fillable PDF is the core teaching tool for our scicomm workshops — helping users brainstorm contexts and translations that might best reach that community member or decisionmaker at their next outreach talk, media interview, or policy briefing. (Read the worksheet design story | Download the worksheet PDF | About our CWYAscicomm workshop)

SciPolComm Workshop Encourages One Scientist’s Path Towards a Policy Career

Dr. Jane Park is a 2021 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow placed with the California State Assembly Committee on Utilities & Energy, part of a highly competitive program that selects only 15 PhD scientists each year for an immersive legislative policy training experience. And how did Dr. Park hear about this tantalizing career development possibility? Through a SciPolComm workshop we taught in 2020 for the American Chemical Society Sacramento Section. Read this CCST blogpost to hear how our workshop offered a turning point for one scientist’s career. (Read Jane’s story | Explore the CCST Science Fellows Program | Look for upcoming SciPolComm offerings)

The Good Work of Others

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

Crochet Coronavirus Creations Give Shape to Knowledge

What does a SARS-CoV-2 virus and antibody feel like? For the blind and visually impaired, physical models offer much-needed touchable context to explain the form and function of microscopic structures. Yale Professor Akiko Iwasaki spotted a SARS-CoV-2 model crocheted by UK scientist Roz Keene as one great example of accessible science communication in action during the pandemic. (Share Dr. Iwasaki’s tweet | Find Roz Keene’s crochet projects)

Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Gives Voice to San Francisco Bay’s Native Words of Nature

In metropolitan regions such as the San Francisco peninsula, Native and Tribal natural heritage have been heavily overlooked and underappreciated over the centuries. One example of increasing efforts to reverse this historic harm is a recent collaboration between Amah Mutsun Tribal Band member and land trust conservation steward Natalie Pineida and the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST). In this blogpost, Pineida speaks aloud the Mutsun words for often-seen plant species such as coast redwood, madrone, and bay laurel. (Listen to the Mutsun words | Share the POST tweet | Support the Amah Mutsun Land Trust)

Trans and Nonbinary Voice Actors Are Bringing Young Adult Novels to Life

Ensuring that diverse cultures and identities are represented in young adult (YA) literature can be particularly important for readers in such formative ages — and the means for representation now extends to the rising popularity of audiobooks. A recent BuzzFeed News feature explains how trans and nonbinary voice actors like Avi Roque and Shaan Dasani are breathing life into the words and works of authors in this growing YA book genre serving trans and nonbinary teens and adults. (Read the article by Gabrielle Bondi)

Events and Appearances Calendar

Bookmark for full calendar

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)

October 8th-12th Conference: ScienceWriters2021 (Virtual)

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

— Ben Young Landis