Connecting

Making Connections

We are constantly developing our networks in the worlds of science, policy, and journalism. Our relationships and knowledge of trends allow us to identify gaps and lags between the best available science and the state of key conversations. We identify or create new opportunities for scientists to interact with each other and other audiences. Our goal is to help scientists foster personal connections that catalyze or contribute to conversations about the relationship between people and planet. Whether these conversations relate to specific initiatives or are an unstructured exploration of science and social issues - we believe that it is the relationships between people that matter.

This part of our work is uniquely shaped by timing, salience, appetite, and broader social context. Our approaches connect scientists with:

  • Journalists. We provide fellowships to support journalists to attend scientific conferences, and facilitate interactions between journalists and scientists at these events by arranging panel discussions and informal dinners where conversations can flourish. Examples of our journalism fellowships include the 2014 North American Congress for Conservation Biology (NACCB), Oceans in High CO2 World, and the International Conservation Congress. We also bring scientists to journalists, by either responding to requests from journalists to help introduce them to scientists, or helping design sessions at journalists’ gatherings that include scientists, such as at the Society of Environmental Journalists. We are always looking for ways to bridge the gap between journalists and scientists.   
  • Policymakers. We bring scientists to DC and state governments for briefings and in-depth discussions. We prepare scientists to share their insights in meaningful ways, without being  political activists. We have supported scientists who study fisheries management, ocean acidification, ecosystem services and restoration, and more.  We have connected scientists with people in the House, Senate, the Executive Office of the President (e.g., Office of Management and Budget, the Council on Environmental Quality, Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Ocean Council), federal agencies, and state officials. Our engagement work is sometimes in collaboration with groups like Congressional caucuses or committees, the National Academies of Science, the California State Library and others. We also bring policymakers to scientists, by hosting field trips where policymakers can get out in the field with scientists, and by  identifying and arranging for policymakers to be part of scientific conferences (we have done this for ACES, Society for Conservation Biology and others). 
  • Others. While our primary audiences for scientists have been in the media and policy worlds, we are constantly seeking to connect scientists with other individuals that impact the public discourse on the environment. We also work to connect scientists to each other.

These diverse undertakings are the culmination of our trainings and coaching work, and are the real-world application of the theory and skills we teach.

Our Stories

For 15 years, we have trained, coached, and connected thousands of scientists. Here are a few of their stories and ours:

Jenna Jambeck: Communicating clearly in the spotlight

Getting more out of scientific conferences: Connecting with media

Scott Doney: Bridging the science-policy gap