Free science of science communication reading

By Grant Jacobs 16/02/2014

If you’re into science communication and are looking for a little late-night Sunday reading, you might try the National Academy of Sciences’ summary of the second Arthur M. Sackler Colloquia on science communication, The science of science communication II. These meetings are focused on issues and best practices for scientists communicating science to non-specialists.

The first meeting focused on research in science education, communication, medicine, and decision science. The second meeting added perspectives from social and cognitive psychology, political science, mass communication, cultural anthropology, business, and social network analysis. Leaving out the front matters and the appendices, the summary of the second meeting is about 100 pages long – plenty to dig your teeth into.


You can download a free PDF of this. On the page for the summary, click ‘download’ (shown to left).


You’ll be presented with a login page. Click ‘I don’t have an account’ on the bottom-right.


Once you’ve done that, you will see a registration page. You could register to use NAS website – not a bad idea if you think you might like some of the other stuff at the NAS website. If you just want a copy of the Science of Science Communication PDF, click ‘Download as guest’ at the bottom-right.

You’ll now see a ‘Download as guest’ page. Click on the big grey ‘Continue’ button. You’ll finally see the download page and you can click (again!) to download the PDF.

(Phew. I’ve got to say that this takes more clicks that seems ideal.**)

The individual presentations at the colloquia are to be published in Proceedings National Academy of Science, USA.***

There is more material, including videos, at the NAS website for the meeting.

The papers from the first meeting are available at PNAS, including this overview. Another way you can read the papers is via an on-line presentation of them. You can download the papers from there, too: clicking the down-arrow icon on the right will get you all the papers in one PDF.


I confess I haven’t read the summary yet. I have skimmed parts of it. I’m a bit struck by that, given the subject matter is communication, how it leans to academic style rather something more active. Either way, some should find some useful ideas within it.

* Perhaps as something to mull over before the science communication seminars in Dunedin on the 24th and 25th.

** I’m sorry, I can’t directly offer a copy of the PDF to you. Copyrights and all that. (And I don’t want the NAS saying nasty things down my neck…)

*** It’s possible they are already available; a quick search at PNAS didn’t reveal them.

H/T to Peter Gluckman for tweeting that the summary of the second meeting was available at the NAS website.

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