2015 Sustainable Science Communication Conference - Participants

Susannah Scott, Conference Co-organizer; Moderator

Susannah L. Scott is the Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Professor in Sustainable Catalytic Processing at UC Santa Barbara, where she leads the Mellichamp Academic Initiative in Sustainable Materials and Product Design. Her research interests include surface organometallic chemistry, environmental catalysis, catalyst design for renewable feedstocks, and the development of new kinetic and spectroscopic methods to probe reaction mechanisms at surfaces. Scott earned her Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Iowa State University in 1991. After a NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Institut de recherches sur la catalyse (CNRS) in Lyon, France, she joined the University of Ottawa (Canada) in 1994. She held an NSERC Women's Faculty Award, a Cottrell Scholar Award, a Union Carbide Innovation Award and was named a Canada Research Chair in 2001. She moved to the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2003, where she directs an NSF Partnership for International Research and Education, and an NSF S-STEM program for first-generation college students majoring in engineering. She co-directs the NSF Center for the Sustainable Use of Renewable Feedstocks (CenSURF) and an NSF Noyce program to promote K12 teaching careers in Physical Sciences and Engineering. Scott is an Associate Editor for ACS Catalysis.

Ronald E. Rice, Conference Co-organizer; Moderator

Ronald E. Rice (Ph.D., Stanford University, 1982) is the Arthur N. Rupe Chair in the Social Effects of Mass Communication, and Department Chair, in the Department of Communication, and Co-Director of the Carsey-Wolf Center, at University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Rice has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from University of Montreal (2010), elected President of the ICA (2006-2007), awarded a Fulbright Award to Finland (2006), and appointed as the Wee Kim Wee Professor at the School of Communication and Information and the Visiting University Professor, both at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (Augusts 2007-2009 and June 2010). His co-authored or (co)edited books include Organizations and unusual routines: A systems analysis of dysfunctional feedback processes (2010); Media ownership: Research and regulation (2008); The Internet and health care: Theory, research and practice (2006); Social consequences of Internet use: Access, involvement and interaction (2002); The Internet and health communication (2001); Accessing and browsing information and communication (2001); Public communication campaigns (1981, 1989, 2001, 2012); Research methods and the new media (1988); Managing organizational innovation (1987); and The new media: communication, research and technology (1984). He has published over 115 refereed journal articles and 70 book chapters. Dr. Rice has conducted research and published widely in communication science, public communication campaigns, computer-mediated communication systems, methodology, organizational and management theory, information systems, information science and bibliometrics, social uses and effects of the Internet, and social networks. 

Erik Conway, Discussant

Erik Conway is a historian of science and technology residing in Pasadena, CA. He is currently historian at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, where he studies and documents the history of space exploration, and examines the intersections of space science, Earth science, and technological change. His duties include research and writing, conducting oral histories, and contributing to the lab’s historical collections. Before JPL, he worked as a contract historian at Langley Research Center. Conway enjoys studying the historical interaction between national politics, scientific research, and technological change. For his current research in robotic Mars exploration, he analyzes the effects of changing policies on project management and planetary science. He co-authored two articles on the history of climate science: Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. Conway, and Matthew Shindell, “From Chicken Little to Dr. Pangloss: William Nierenberg, Global Warming, and the Social Deconstruction of Scientific Knowledge,” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, Vol. 38, Number 1, pp. 113–156; Oreskes and Conway, “Challenging Knowledge: How Climate Science Became a Victim of the Cold War,” Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance, eds. Robert N. Proctor and Londa Schiebinger (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2008), 55-89. Conway became a historian after serving as an officer in the US Navy in the early 1990s, where he had minor roles in planning the US withdrawal from Somalia and the non-combatant evacuation from Rwanda. He received the 2009 NASA History award for “pathbreaking contributions to space history ranging from aeronautics to Earth and space sciences”, and the 2009 AIAA History Manuscript Award for his fourth book, Atmospheric Science at NASA: A History. He is co-author, with Naomi Oreskes, of Merchants of Doubt (2010).

Pierre Wiltzius, Welcome and Opening Remarks

Pierre Wiltzius is the Susan and Bruce Worster Dean of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences in the College of Letters & Science, and Professor of Physics. Prior to his arrival at UC Santa Barbara, Dr. Wiltzius was the Director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Physics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from 2001 to 2008. He joined Lucent Technologies - Bell Laboratories (formerly AT&T Bell Laboratories) in 1984 as a member of technical staff, where he most recently was the director of semiconductor physics research. His research interests include soft condensed matter and complex fluids, e.g., polymers, colloids, liquid crystals, and his current research is focused on developing new fabrication techniques for photonic crystals including colloidal self-assembly and multi-beam interference lithography. He was also involved in plastic transistors on flexible substrates for various applications, including electronic paper. Dr. Wiltzius received the degree of Diplomphysiker in 1976 and the degree of Dr. sc. nat. in 1981 from the E.T.H. (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) Zurich, Switzerland. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Physics Department at UC Santa Barbara from 1982 to 1984.


Richard Hutton, Presenter: Is Content King...or Courtier? Making Science Accessible. Journalists face the challenge of taking complex scientific information and turning it into a clear, comprehensible narrative, without distorting it or dumbing it down. The eight-hour series EVOLUTION offers a case study of one method of overcoming that hurdle – using storytelling to frame the science and give it drama, without allowing the story itself to overwhelm the information.

Richard Hutton is Chief Strategist, OCTOS, with the Office of Research at UC Santa Barbara.  He served for four years as Executive Director of the Carsey-Wolf Center and Adjunct Professor in the Film and Media Studies Department.  Previously, Hutton was Vice President of Media Development for Vulcan Inc. He oversaw Vulcan Productions’ feature film and documentary units and directed all of Vulcan’s media development projects, including initiatives in the education, museum and entertainment sectors. Under Hutton's direction, Vulcan Productions produced a wide range of documentaries, including the six-hour series This Emotional Life; the Peabody Award-winning Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, a two-hour NOVA special chronicling the latest battle in the war over evolution; and the Emmy Award-winning Rx for Survival, a six-part series on global health - all with the WGBH Science Unit. Vulcan Productions also co-produced Strange Days on Planet Earth, a four-part series on the environment, with National Geographic; the Peabody and Grammy Award-winning No Direction Home: Bob Dylan; and the Emmy and Grammy Award-winning Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues. Hutton was also the executive producer of the critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated PBS series, Evolution; the Peabody Award-winning Black Sky: The Race for Space; and the blues concert film Lightning in a Bottle. Feature films produced or co-produced under Hutton's direction include Humanitas Prize winner Where God Left His Shoes, starring John Leguizamo; the critically-acclaimed Hard Candy and Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas; and Independent Spirit Award winner for Best Picture, Far From Heaven.  Prior to Vulcan, Hutton was senior vice president of creative development at Walt Disney Imagineering, senior vice president of television programming and production for WETA Television in Washington, D.C., and, earlier, Director of Public Affairs Programming for WNET Television in New York. There, his projects included the award-winning The Brain and The Mind. Hutton has authored or co-authored nine books and medical texts, as well as articles for national publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Omni and Cosmopolitan.

Jennifer Ouellette, Discussant and Presenter: The Mixology of Cocktail Party Physics: Tools and Tips for Broad-Based Science Communication

Jennifer Ouellette is the author of four popular science books: Me, Myself, and Why: Searching for the Science of Self (2014); The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse (2010); The Physics of the Buffyverse (2007); and Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics (2006), all published by Penguin. She also edited The Best Online Science Writing 2012 (Scientific American Books/FSG).  Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Book Review, Discover, Slate, Salon, Smithsonian, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, Nature, Physics Today, Physics World, and New Scientist, among other venues. She maintains a blog called Cocktail Party Physics at Scientific American, featuring her avatar altar-ego/evil twin, Jen-Luc Piquant – also her Twitter handle. She is also a co-host for Virtually Speaking Science, a weekly conversation with a prominent scientist or science writer hosted by the Exploratorium in Second Life and aired as a podcast by Blog Talk Radio. Ouellette is the former director of the Science & Entertainment Exchange, an initiative of the National Academy of Sciences designed to connect entertainment industry professionals with top scientists and engineers to help the creators of television shows, films, video games, and other productions incorporate science into their work.

Susan Derwin, Moderator

Susan Derwin is professor of Comparative Literature and German and director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC) at UC Santa Barbara, where her responsibilities include the mounting of an annual public events series devoted to issues of social consequence for the university and Santa Barbara communities. This year's IHC series, "The Anthropocene", has brought academicians, fiction writers, musicians and artists to UCSB to consider the human impact on the environment from the diverse perspectives afforded by the humanities, humanistic social sciences and the arts. Susan's own reaching and teaching interests focus on the relationship between trauma and narrative.  Her monographs include The Ambivalence of Form: Lukács, Freud, and the Novel, and Rage is the Subtext: Readings in Holocaust Literature and Film.  For the last four years, she has been facilitating a creative writing workshop for UCSB student veterans and military dependents and has been lecturing and publishing on the impact of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan upon returning service members and their communities.


Ken Weiss, Presenter: The Power of One. Environmental issues can be difficult to communicate to general audiences. All too often stories about the environmental are depressing. They can feel overwhelming in their scope or even dull given the slow, incremental pace of change. This makes it all too easy for people to turn the page, click to a different channel, or ignore the topics altogether. But there are ways that writers and others can help people pay attention to what’s happening in our epoch, the Anthropocene. It’s often best to show these stories, not just tell them, and single out a key character to give audiences "a way in” to a larger, more complex topic. Ken Weiss will share a journalist’s view on how to engage audiences and make them care.

Kenneth R. Weiss, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, focuses on topics at the intersection of science, environment and public health. Much of reporting overseas is financed by grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. He is now working on a book that draws the connections between women’s rights and reproductive health with hunger, poverty, national security and environmental decline. The book was inspired by his series, Beyond 7 Billion, published the Los Angeles Times on the causes and consequences of human population growth. He was the lead reporter for the Altered Oceans series, which showed how the slow creep of environmental decay often has a more profound impact than cataclysmic natural disasters. Besides winning the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting, Weiss has won the George Polk Award, the Grantham Prize, a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, the Scripps Howard Foundation’s National Journalism Award and many others. He holds a bachelor’s degree in folklore from UC Berkeley and lives in Carpinteria, California. Like way too many Californians, he prefers to conduct his own ocean research from his surfboard.

Matthew Nisbet, Presenter: Disruptive Ideas: Why Experts and Environmentalists Disagree about Sustainability Problems. Given their scale, complexity, and intractability, even those experts and environmentalists arguing for actions to address major sustainability problems like climate change often disagree about what the problems mean for society and what should be done. These disagreements reflect differing values, social identities, intellectual traditions, and visions of the "good society." They are embedded in contrasting views of nature, risk, progress, the economy, politics, and technology. In this presentation, drawing on a recently published paper, I discuss three major discourses that shape differing assumptions among experts and advocates about the root causes of sustainability problems and their solutions. In doing so, I assess the role of philanthropists, public intellectuals, journalists, filmmakers, and educators in creating, challenging, and transcending contrasting perspectives.

Matthew C. Nisbet is Associate Professor of Communication, Public Policy & Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. He is a Senior Editor at Oxford University Press’s Research Encyclopedia Climate Science, “The Age of Us” columnist at The Conversation, and a member of the National Academies Roundtable Committee on Public Interfaces in the Life Sciences. Nisbet studies the role of communication, media, and public opinion in debates over science, technology, and the environment. The author of more than 70 peer-reviewed studies, scholarly book chapters, and reports, at Northeastern University he teaches courses in Environmental and Risk Communication, and Strategic Communication. Among awards and recognition, he has been a Shorenstein Fellow on Media, Policy, and Politics at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Investigator, and a Google Science Communication Fellow.  The editors at the journal Nature have recommended Nisbet’s research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic has highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism.” Nisbet holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in Communication from Cornell University and a BA in Government from Dartmouth College.

Sonia Fernandez, Presenter: Science for the People: Making Scientific Research Accessible to the Layperson

When interacting with a general audience, a science communicator's job is to convey complex and technical ideas in ways that can be understood by people who often don't have the same experience, motivation and knowledge as the researchers involved. Those producing stories and other content about research news are constantly negotiating between the accurate and exacting terminology of the laboratory and the descriptive and informal language of everyday life. Other questions arise as well: In a field driven by rapid discovery and innovation, how much background knowledge can a science communicator assume his or her audience has? What are the best ways to present the content for better impact? Is the message effective and easily received? In this presentation, I will discuss the role of the science communicator in a university setting, particularly with respect to UC Santa Barbara and its Office of Public Affairs and Communications, and the tools and methods we have at our disposal.

Sonia Fernandez is an is a writer for the Office of Public Affairs and Communications at UC Santa Barbara. She writes mainly about engineering and the hard sciences, and has a hand in photography. Prior to this position she had a decade-long journalism career writing for several local print and web news sources, where she focused primarily on land use and development, offshore oil, special districts, and water politics and infrastructure. Sonia enjoys writing about science and technology, learning new things all time and the challenge of making research news accessible to the general public.

David Marshall, Luncheon Welcome Remarks

David Marshall, formerly the Michael Douglas Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts in the College of Letters and Science at UC Santa Barbara, is the Executive Vice Chancellor. In addition to serving as Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts and professor of English and of Comparative Literature for 16 years, Marshall served from 2005 to 2012 as the campus’s first Executive Dean of the College of Letters and Science. Marshall’s service to the campus and to the UC system is broad and deep. He has served on the Chancellor’s Coordinating Committee on Budget Strategy; the Campus Planning Committee; the Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture, and Inclusion; and the Board of Directors of the UCSB Community Housing Authority, among others. In addition, he is co-chair of the Leadership Committee of the campus’s Operational Effectiveness Initiative.  At the systemwide level, Marshall has served on and chaired the UC President’s Advisory Committee on Research in the Humanities, which oversees the UC Humanities Network. He was the principal investigator for the $12.8 million University of California Multi-Campus Research Program Governance Committee, and he previously served on The Size and Shape working group of the UC Commission on the Future. Active nationally as well, Marshall is currently president of the National Humanities Alliance, based in Washington, D.C., which advances humanities policy in the areas of research, education, preservation and public programs.

Carrie Kappel, Moderator

Carrie Kappel is an Associate Project Scientist and Center Associate at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis and a member of the Center for Marine Assessment and Planning at UC Santa Barbara. A marine conservation biologist and community ecologist with a PhD from Stanford University, she has worked in coral reefs, kelp forests and rocky intertidal systems and now uses collaborative synthesis science to develop conservation solutions that protect marine ecosystems and enhance human wellbeing.  Major themes of her work include quantifying the ways humans depend upon and impact marine species and ecosystems; understanding the spatial distribution of ecological and human components of ecosystems in order to inform conservation and management; and developing ways to integrate biophysical and socioeconomic data to support environmental decision-making in coastal ecosystems. Her research has been aimed at informing marine protected area design, ecosystem based management, and marine spatial planning. Carrie currently leads a large, multi-institution collaboration called the Ocean Tipping Points project, which is aimed at integrating our growing understanding of tipping points in marine ecosystems into ocean management through practical tools and approaches and effective communication.

Bruce Caron, Presenter: From Know-How to Know-What: NSF’s New Earthcube Looks To Open Up New Internal Forums for Geoscience Learning and Communication. Most of this conference will be looking at how scientists communicate with others. My talk will look at how scientists are forging new forums to share their scientific know-how and acquire a whole new range of knowledge that will enable them to take advantage of emergent open-science content (open data, open source software, open access publications, and open reviews). By leveraging the social multipliers of networked collaboration, new communities-of-purpose will add real value to shared content, and real reasons to share more often. EarthCube, the NSF’s newly fashioned virtual geoscience community, is designed to build, test, and finally implement novel modes of communication and forums for sharing. What does open-science look like, and how will it transform the geosciences? These are the questions EarthCube is tackling today. Some day soon, perhaps science will actually know what science knows.

Bruce Caron is an online-community architect. He helps virtual science organizations build community governance and achieve their vision. Bruce has a Ph.D. in social anthropology and has training as an urban cultural geographer. Bruce is the founder and current executive director of the New Media Studio and the New Media Research Institute in Santa Barbara. He recently led the NASA Science on Drupal Central Project, which built collaboration and collective intelligence capabilities for earth science Drupal developers. He has served as the president of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners. In 2010 he was awarded its Martha Maiden Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a founding and current board member of the Foundation for Earth Science in Washington, DC.  He is currently the Program Office Manager for EarthCube, a National Science Foundation-funded geoscience community-led organization.

Martha Russell, Presenter: Audience Co-creation of Sustainable Science Stories. Virtual reality has transformed the production and consumption of science communications. Individuals and groups can virtually experience the depths of the ocean or the center of an atom. These immersive environments let a person step into the story experience.  The science of storytelling has shown that as people hear, read or experience stories, they translate the stories into their own contexts – with details of their personal experiences.  This psychological immersion is aided by emotion, identification, and conflict. Engagement through emotion is one of the most effective techniques to counteract the confirmation bias that confronts many science stories that call for behavior change.  The emotionality of a story provides personal levers for remembering the story, telling it to others, and acting in accordance with the feeling.

Martha G. Russell is Executive Director of mediaX at Stanford University, a membership-based, interdisciplinary research catalyst focused on people, media, technology, and innovation.  She is Senior Research Scholar at Stanford’s Human Sciences Technology Advanced Research Institute and Senior Global Fellow at the IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. A UC Santa Barbara alumna, Dr. Russell’s background spans a range of business development, innovation and technology-transfer initiatives in information sciences, communications, and microelectronics at the University of Minnesota, The University of Texas at Austin, and Stanford University and their corporate partners.  Dr. Russell led the first US pre-competitive university research center funded by a business consortium, which led to two NSF-funded Engineering Research Centers, a Science and Technology Center, and an Executive MBA in Technology Leadership for senior science and technology directors. Her interdisciplinary initiatives in agriculture have been implemented at the state, regional and national levels, and her initiatives in manufacturing have been transferred internationally. As an intrapreneur and entrepreneur, Russell has started companies in transformative agriculture and also in market intelligence, and she has catalyzed and spun out several businesses from consortium activities.  Russell studies relationship capital, decision making and persuasive technologies. Dr. Russell founded and directs Stanford’s Innovation Ecosystems Network, which uses data-driven network analysis to study relationship-based ecosystems for innovation.  She serves on the advisory board of the Journal of Technology Forecasting and Social Change and advises several startup companies. At one time a field hockey and soccer player, her play is now focused on music scores.

Lucy Atkinson, Presenter: Picture This: Using Infographics, Visuals and Text to Communicate Effective Sustainability Campaigns. Successfully communicating with audiences about issues of sustainability requires, in part, creating effective messages. As countless public opinion and consumer polls demonstrate, even those individuals who claim to hold environmental values and favor living more sustainably often fail to follow through on these attitudes. Bridging this attitude-behavior gap, often called the green gap, requires effective communication campaigns. Successfully communicating with relevant stakeholders is necessary for any sustainability initiative to take off. Even the most inspiring advances in sustainable technology or engineering would be for naught without a compelling and effective pitch to the relevant audiences of interest. In my presentation, I will discuss some of my research that has examined sustainability-related mass media messages to understand which factors make for more effective messaging. In particular, I will focus on research exploring the role of visual elements in pro-environmental messages. Through a series of experiments, infographics were shown to elicit greater levels of issue-relevant thinking compared to messages that rely just on text or just on illustration, with learning preferences and visual literacy as moderators. The findings demonstrate that visual content is an important factor for persuasive message processing, and infographic messages hold opportunities for the communication of sustainability issues.

Lucy Atkinson (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin – Madison) is an Assistant Professor in the Stan Richards School of Advertising and PR. Her research focuses on environmental communication at the intersection of consumer behavior and civic engagement. For example, she explores the role of persuasive communication, like green advertising, in connecting individuals’ political and consumer orientations and in fostering marketplace-based civic engagement. Her research has been funded by several external research grants and has been presented at conferences and in journals. In 2012, she co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Advertising on the topic of green advertising. She teaches undergraduate and graduate classes about communicating sustainability. Before earning her Ph.D., she worked for several years as a newspaper reporter and editor in New York.

M. Scott Shell, Moderator

M. Scott Shell is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara.  He earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon in 2000 and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton in 2005, followed by a postdoc in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UC San Francisco from 2005-07.  Shell’s group develops novel molecular simulation, multiscale modeling, and statistical thermodynamic approaches to address problems in contemporary biophysics and soft condensed matter. Recent areas of interest include self-assembled peptide materials, nanobubbles, hydrophobic interfaces, electric double layers, and two-dimensional colloidal particles.  He is the recipient of a Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty Award (2007), an NSF CAREER Award (2009), a Hellman Family Faculty Fellowship (2010), a Northrop-Grumman Teaching Award (2011), a Sloan Research Fellowship (2012), and a UCSB Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award (2014).  He frequently gives talks/workshops on communicating science and presentation-giving, both in his courses and in professional development and research training programs on campus (particularly those organized by the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships in the CNSI). In 2011, he was invited to attend a three-day workshop at UCLA on communicating science to the public organized by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stonybrook.

Lisa Leombruni, Presenter: Maximizing Impact: Using a Multi-platform Approach to Engage Audiences with Science Content. Today’s media landscape looks quite different than that of even just a decade ago. Specialized, niche communities and interest groups are popping up across the internet, and people are engaging with science content through Reddit, Facebook, Vine, Twitter, and YouTube. While these platforms offer a multitude of ways to connect with new audiences, how can the efforts of science communicators be best utilized to achieve maximum impact? Building a successful multi-platform approach requires communicators to know where to find potential audiences, how they like to engage with science and other digital content, and to actively respond to their audiences’ preferences. The NOVA science unit offers a case study in how multiple media channels and community outreach can be leveraged to reach—and deliver customized content to—a diversity of audiences. By reviewing NOVA’s strategies, we will see the importance of creating a responsive, active, and diverse digital presence to expand reach and deepen impact.

Lisa Leombruni currently works for NOVA / WGBH Boston, where she develops ideas and writes grants for upcoming NOVA television series and special projects, including NSF-funded research. She also oversees the evaluation and impact of all broadcast, digital media, and educational outreach. Dr. Leombruni lectures on environmental communication and media at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management as a part of the Strategic Environmental Communication & Media focus, a program and curriculum she co-developed and continues to shape. She has also taught environmental film, media, and communication theory at UCSB, and was a teaching assistant for field biology at Brandeis University. Dr. Leombruni has research experience in environmental and social science and has worked on a diversity of topics, including how people form attitudes about complex science, persuasion and environmental messaging, determining pesticide exposure among golfers, identifying cystic fibrosis mutations in high-risk populations, early drug development for Alzheimer’s disease, and chemical communication between fireflies.  She earned her PhD in communication from UCSB, holds a Master of Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and has a BA in Biology from Brandeis University.

P. Sol Hart, Presenter: Threat without Efficacy? Climate Change on U.S. Network News. This study investigates how U.S. network television news stories have conveyed threat and efficacy information about climate change, both directly and indirectly, through the discussion and framing of climate change impacts and actions. Results show that while impacts and actions are discussed independently in a majority of broadcasts, they are rarely discussed in the same broadcast. Moreover, while news coverage frequently conveys the threat of climate change, it provides an inconsistent efficacy message, often including both positive and negative efficacy cues. Finally, impacts are framed primarily in terms of environmental consequences, whereas actions are framed in terms of political conflict.

Sol Hart is an Assistant Professor in both Communication Studies and the Program in the Environment at the University of Michigan. He specializes in risk communication related to environmental, science, and risk issues. Professor Hart’s research investigates the role of the media in motivating and engaging the public around a variety of issues and how to create effective messages that can cross ideological divides and resonate with broad sections of the public. Hart’s research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His research has been published in a number of peer reviewed journals, including Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Communication Yearbook, Science Communication, Public Understanding of Science, Medical Decision Making, Society and Natural Resources, and Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture

Andrew Nelson, Presenter: How Science-Based Sustainability Solutions Can Have Impact – and Why They May Not. Research commercialization refers, broadly, to the process of moving from initial research findings to innovations that have a meaningful impact on social, economic and/or environmental goals. Decades of research into commercialization have underscored both the uncertainty and the difficulty of these processes. Leveraging the case of “green" or sustainable chemistry, this presentation details the ways in which this particular science-based sustainability solution has moved from "the lab to the market" and the many barriers it has encountered along the way. I thus review the role of policy, educational, professional, and economic incentives, arguing that effective approaches to research commercialization must simultaneously integrate and coordinate these multiple levers.

Andrew Nelson is Associate Professor of Management; Bramsen Faculty Fellow in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability; and Academic Director of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Oregon. He received his PhD in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, where he subsequently served as a Lecturer. Andrew also holds an MSc (with distinction) from Oxford University and a BA (with honors and distinction) from Stanford.  Andrew’s research explores entrepreneurship, commercialization, and the origin and evolution of new technology-based fields. His ongoing projects focus on green (sustainable) chemistry, biotechnology, digital music and IT. Among other outlets, his work appears in the Academy of Management Journal, Research Policy, and in his books, The Sound of Innovation: Stanford and the Computer Music Revolution (MIT Press) and Technology Ventures: From Idea to Enterprise (McGraw-Hill).