Science Activation: Moving Beyond Science Communication To Getting the Science Used


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Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society

Like past catastrophic natural disasters, the pandemic is damaging society where it was already weak. Scientific information is critical for society to use to make better decisions for our safety and wellbeing. Unfortunately, it is often ignored because decision makers sometimes do not understand the information and more importantly do not feel empowered to use it. We need science activation, a process of not just communicating the information, but also ongoing collaboration with policy-makers.  Through this collaboration, solutions to complex problems that encompass societal objectives and physical requirements can be created. This talk explores insights from previous disasters and Dr. Jones’s work in earthquake science and seismic safety policy about the challenges to effective activation of scientific knowledge and approaches scientists and decision makers can take to work together more effectively.

After this talk, attendees will understand:

  • How the demands of peer review influence communication within the science research culture.
  • How evolutionary pressures have shaped human response to crisis information.
  • How the human ability to recognize and manipulate patterns controls the emotional response to randomness.

Lucy Jones, PhD

Founder/ Research Associate, Center for Science and Society

Dr. Lucy Jones is the founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, with a mission to foster the understanding and application of scientific information in the creation of more resilient communities. She is the author of The Big Ones (Doubleday, April 2018) and is also a Research Associate at the Seismological Laboratory of Caltech, a post she has held since 1984. Working with both the public and private sectors, Dr. Jones seeks to increase communities’ ability to adapt and be resilient to the dynamic changes of the world around them. The aim is to understand and communicate where the greatest vulnerabilities lie and what actions can be taken to reduce the risk that are the most cost-effective. With a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from MIT, Dr. Lucy Jones has been active in earthquake research for decades, furthering earthquake risk reduction through seismological research and integrated disaster scenarios. 

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Monday, July 20th - Science Activation: Moving Beyond Science Communication to Getting Science Used
Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin.
Select the "View On-Demand Recording" button to begin. Like past catastrophic natural disasters, the pandemic is damaging society where it was already weak. Scientific information is critical for society to use to make better decisions for our safety and wellbeing. Unfortunately, it is often ignored because decision makers sometimes do not understand the information and more importantly do not feel empowered to use it. We need science activation, a process of not just communicating the information, but also ongoing collaboration with policy-makers. Through this collaboration, solutions to complex problems that encompass societal objectives and physical requirements can be created. This talk explores insights from previous disasters and Dr. Jones’s work in earthquake science and seismic safety policy about the challenges to effective activation of scientific knowledge and approaches scientists and decision makers can take to work together more effectively. After this talk, attendees will understand: How the demands of peer review influence communication within the science research culture. How evolutionary pressures have shaped human response to crisis information. How the human ability to recognize and manipulate patterns controls the emotional response to randomness.
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