Championing Science – Communicating Your Ideas to Decision Makers

“This book is a wonderfully informative 'play book' of examples and recommendations for scientists seeking to communicate the content of their research. From the opening warning, that 'scientists are great communicators —with other scientists'' to the detailed assessments of how visual and other aids help or hinder the communication process, the authors have built a vitally needed resource...”

— Daniel Kammen, Professor and Chair, Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley

“A must read for those in the research community. Aines and Aines develop smart and clear approaches for communicating the importance of your work to those responsible for making policy and funding decisions. Their writing hits on what you think you already know and most importantly, what you never before considered.”

— Felice C. Frankel, MIT science photographer, research scientist and author of Picturing Science and Engineering, (MIT Press, 2018)

“A rigorous and engaging pathway for scientists who aspire to get facts across effectively and make their voices heard clearly amid a cacophony of information. Highly recommended reading for anyone who wants to make sure that their messages land soundly and powerfully with important audiences.”

— Laura Lindenfeld, Professor and Director, Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, Stony Brook University

Why This Book and Why Now?

We were inspired to write Championing Science by witnessing the communication struggles that limit the effectiveness of many scientists and engineers. They miss out on funding, visibility, collaborations and ultimately, career success. We believe that great communicators make a bigger impact and that all STEM professionals can learn how to shine.

– Amy and Roger

What Makes Championing Science Different?

The book is not focused on talking with the public or other academics – although most of the concepts still apply. Championing Science builds communication skills for success at work. It helps you create new habits that transcend the pitfalls of your academic training. You’ll learn how to get results from your conversations and presentations to colleagues and decision makers.

Discover the difference it makes when you know how to extract the essence, craft messages, simplify visuals, bridge paradigm gaps, and create compelling narratives.

Be Ready, Be Confident

Want to nail your next big meeting or presentation at work? Order Championing Science today!

DOWNLOAD A CHAPTER

Download Chapter 3 to learn about Extracting the Essence.  Rest assured we will not share your contact information. We may send updates or advice on how to communicate effectively with decision makers unless you ask us to take you off our mailing list.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

DR. ROGER D. AINES

Chief Scientist of the Energy Program and Geochemist

Roger Aines develops climate and energy technologies, working for 30 years in the US national laboratory system. He has delivered and endured countless scientific presentations – recognizing the value of effective communication. Applying his principles for championing science, Roger has helped dozens of funders, collaborators and peers to support his work. He regularly coaches colleagues in the art of presentation preparation and delivery. Roger is the Chief Scientist of the Energy Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Since 1984 Roger’s work has spanned nuclear waste disposal, environmental remediation, applying stochastic methods to inversion and data fusion, managing carbon emissions and sequestration monitoring and verification methods. Roger received research funding from the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, a number of corporations and private foundations to address future climate challenges. He received one of the early round of ARPA-E grants to study carbon dioxide capture.

Roger takes an integrated view of the energy, climate, and environmental aspects of carbon-based fuel production and use. His current focus is on efficient ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and safer methods for producing environmentally clean fuel. He holds 12 patents and has authored more than 100 publications.

Roger holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from Carleton College, and Doctor of Philosophy in geochemistry from the California Institute of Technology.

AMY L. AINES

Founder and CEO Damianakes Communications

Explaining T1 multiplexers to prospects and the press launched Amy Aines’ technical communications career. Since then she has helped scientists and technologists communicate breakthrough ideas on topics ranging from remote network management to wireless location algorithms to new treatments for rare and neglected diseases. Hundreds of technical experts tell more compelling stories and get their audiences to listen and take action thanks to Amy’s counsel.

Amy is a messaging strategist, speaker coach and accomplished presenter. She got her start teaching presentations skills as an undergraduate in 1978 when she was asked to co-teach public speaking at Santa Barbara City College. Amy’s passion for finding the right words has enabled her to successfully position new technologies, companies and their leaders.

Early in her career Amy managed marketing and technical communications for T1 multiplexer manufacturer, Coastcom. Her knowledge of voice and data networking led to her next role managing public relations for PacTel Spectrum Services. She spent the following decade as corporate spokesperson for Baby Bell Pacific Telesis Group and leading communications for its wireless spin-off AirTouch Communications. In 1999 Amy founded Damianakes Communications, a boutique consulting firm that provides strategic communications counsel to start-ups and global giants in tech, telecom, biotech and healthcare. With the launch of Championing Science, Amy is focused on helping scientists  communicate with impact.  

Amy received her BA in Communications Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is a certified Human Capital Strategist through the Human Capital Institute.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Fundamental Concepts for Championing Science

1. Introduction: Becoming a Champion

2. Self-Aware and Self-Correcting: The Key to Effective Communication

3. Extracting the Essence

4. Who’s Listening? Know Your Audience

5. Why Scientists Communicate Poorly Outside Their Field

Part 2. Mechanics of Championing Science

6. The First Two Minutes: Show Your Passion

7.  Crafting Key Messages and Narratives

8.  The Power of Language

9. Designing Effective Visuals

Part 3. Honing Your Communication, Influence, and Emotional Intelligence Skills

10. Improving Your Speaking Skills

11. Influence and Persuasion

12. Managing Your Emotions

Part 4. Applying the Championing Science Skills

13. Translations, Templates, and White Papers

14. Strategies for Creating Successful Relationships with Sponsors

15. Exercises for Applying the Championing Science Skills

16. High-Impact Examples of Championing for a Cause