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Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style

by

Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style Cover

ISBN13: 9781597265638
ISBN10: 1597265632
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"You think too much!and#160; You mother F@$#%and* think too much!and#160; You're nothing but an arrogant, pointy-headed intellectual and#8212; I want you out of my classroom and off the premises in five minutes or I'm calling the police and having you arrested for trespassing." and#8212; Hollywood acting teacher to Randy Olson, former scientist
and#160;
After nearly a decade on the defensive, the world of science is about to be restored to its rightful place.and#160; But is the American public really ready for science?and#160; And is the world of science ready for the American public?
and#160;
Scientists wear ragged clothes, forget to comb their hair, and speak in a language that even they don't understand.and#160; Or so people think. Most scientists don't care how they are perceived, but in our media-dominated age, style points count.
and#160;
Enter Randy Olson.and#160; Fifteen years ago, Olson bid farewell to the science world and shipped off to Hollywood ready to change the world. With films like Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus (Tribeca '06, Showtime) and Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy (Outfest '08), he has tried to bridge the cultural divide that has too often left science on the outside looking in.
and#160;
Now, in his first book, Olson, with a Harvard Ph.D. and formerly a tenured professor of marine biology at the University of New Hampshire, recounts the lessons from his own hilarious-and at times humiliating-evolution from science professor to Hollywood filmmaker.and#160; In Don't Be Such a Scientist, he shares the secrets of talking substance in an age of style. The key, he argues, is to stay true to the facts while tapping into something more primordial, more irrational, and ultimately more human.
and#160;
In a book enlivened by a profane acting teacher who made Olson realize that "nobody wants to watch you think," he offers up serious insights and poignant stories. You'll laugh, you may cry, and as a communicator you'll certainly learn the importance of not only knowing how to fulfill, but also how to arouse.

Review:

"In 1997, marine biologist Olson recognized that scientists needed better communications skills to address a growing backlash against 'rational data-based science.' Inspired by the 'power of video,' Olson gave up a tenured professorship and went to Hollywood to reach a broader audience through filmmaking. The crucial lesson he learned was how to tell a good story, a largely absent concern for scientists, who focus on accuracy rather than audience engagement. It was a lesson Olson learned the hard way, after his intelligent design documentary, Flock of Dodos, flopped for lack of a lively story line. By 'starting with a quirky little tidbit' about his mother and the intelligent design lawyer she lives next to, Olson found the hook he was missing. Olson values motivation over education, looking to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth ('the most important and best-made piece of environmental media in history') for a hugely successful example of his principles in action. As if to prove all he's learned, Olson packs this highly entertaining book with more good stories than good advice, spurring readers to rethink their personal communication styles rather than ape Olson's example." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Drawing on his own hilariousand#8212;and at times humiliatingand#8212;evolution from science professor to Hollywood filmmaker, Olson shares the secrets of talking substance in an age of style. The key, he argues, is to stay true to the facts while tapping into something more primordial, more irrational, and ultimately more human.

In a book enlivened by profane acting teachers and earnest scientists, serious insights and poignant stories, Olson walks the walk. Youand#8217;ll laugh, you may cry, and youand#8217;ll certainly learn how to communicate critical scientific and environmental issues using your heart as well as your head.

Synopsis:

Drawing on his own hilarious--and at times

Synopsis:

After twenty years as a marine biologist, a Ph.D. from Harvard, a tenured professorship at the University of New Hampshire, and more than twenty published research papers, why is Dr. Randy Olson telling readers, “Dont Be Such a Scientist” ? The hard-earned advice comes from a fifteen-year career transition to filmmaking, culminating in the acclaimed documentaries Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus and Sizzle: A Global  Warming Comedy.

In his first book, Olson makes clear what those glued to their microscopes and climate models may not recognize: the general public doesnt speak science. For better or worse, most of us rely not on intellect, but on what Olson terms the organs of mass communication: the heart, the gut, and even “the lower organs.” Why else do some still question the existence of global warming

or evolution when the evidence is irrefutable?

Drawing on his own hilariousand at times humiliatingevolution from science professor to Hollywood filmmaker, Olson shares the secrets of talking substance in an age of style. The key, he argues, is to stay true to the facts while tapping into something more primordial, more irrational, and ultimately more human.

In a book enlivened by profane acting teachers and earnest scientists, serious insights and poignant stories, Olson walks the walk. Youll laugh, you may cry, and youll certainly learn how to communicate critical scientific and environmental issues using your heart as well as your head.

About the Author

Randy Olson earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University and became a professor of marine biology before moving to Hollywood for his second career as a filmmaker. Since obtaining an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California School of Cinema, he has written and directed the critically acclaimed films Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus (Tribeca, and#8216;06, Showtime) and Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy (Outfest, and#8217;08), and co-founded The Shifting Baselines Ocean Media Project, a partnership between scientists and Hollywood to communicate the crisis facing our oceans.

Table of Contents

Introduction

and#160;

Chapter 1. Don't Be So Cerebral

Chapter 2. Two: Don't Be So Literal Minded

Chapter 3. Don't Be Such a Poor Storyteller

Chapter 4. Don't Be So Unlikeable

Chapter 5. Be the Voice of Science!

and#160;

Appendix 1. The Sizzleand#160;Frazzle

Appendix 2. Filmmaking for Scientists

Appendix 3. Randy Olson

Selected Filmography

Notes and#160;

Acknowledgments

Index

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Lin, November 10, 2009 (view all comments by Lin)
"Don't Be SUCH a Scientist" had me chuckling in the first three pages! Olson uses countless real-life anecdotes to portray his points. His vignettes are both serious and humorous, which make for an overall easy read. Olson goes so far as to call academics "eggheads," leaving the reader unsure what to expect next!

ex:)
"By now you may be thinking, 'What's this guy got against intellectuals? He's calling them brainiacs and eggheads.' Well, I spent six wonderful years at Harvard University completing my doctorate, and I'll take the intellectuals any day. But still, it woul be nice if they could just take a little bit of the edge off their more extreme characteristics. It's like asking football players not to wear their cleats in the house. You're not asking them not to be football players, only to use their specific skills in the right places."

Olson confronts scientists/communicators by provoking and urging them to communicate differently and to utilize visual media. Olson states, "...if you gather scientific knowledge but are unable to convey it to others in a correct and compelling form, you might as well not even have bothered to gather the information."


The reader should come away with ideas on how to speak the right language to the right audience. This is a worthwhile, non-preachy read!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781597265638
Author:
Olson, Randy
Publisher:
Island Press
Subject:
General science
Subject:
General
Subject:
Business Communication - General
Subject:
Communication in science
Subject:
Science in motion pictures
Subject:
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Subject:
Science Reference-Philosophy of Science
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1
Publication Date:
20090931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
13 photos and illustrations
Pages:
216
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style New Trade Paper
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Product details 216 pages Island Press - English 9781597265638 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In 1997, marine biologist Olson recognized that scientists needed better communications skills to address a growing backlash against 'rational data-based science.' Inspired by the 'power of video,' Olson gave up a tenured professorship and went to Hollywood to reach a broader audience through filmmaking. The crucial lesson he learned was how to tell a good story, a largely absent concern for scientists, who focus on accuracy rather than audience engagement. It was a lesson Olson learned the hard way, after his intelligent design documentary, Flock of Dodos, flopped for lack of a lively story line. By 'starting with a quirky little tidbit' about his mother and the intelligent design lawyer she lives next to, Olson found the hook he was missing. Olson values motivation over education, looking to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth ('the most important and best-made piece of environmental media in history') for a hugely successful example of his principles in action. As if to prove all he's learned, Olson packs this highly entertaining book with more good stories than good advice, spurring readers to rethink their personal communication styles rather than ape Olson's example." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
Drawing on his own hilariousand#8212;and at times humiliatingand#8212;evolution from science professor to Hollywood filmmaker, Olson shares the secrets of talking substance in an age of style. The key, he argues, is to stay true to the facts while tapping into something more primordial, more irrational, and ultimately more human.

In a book enlivened by profane acting teachers and earnest scientists, serious insights and poignant stories, Olson walks the walk. Youand#8217;ll laugh, you may cry, and youand#8217;ll certainly learn how to communicate critical scientific and environmental issues using your heart as well as your head.

"Synopsis" by , Drawing on his own hilarious--and at times
"Synopsis" by ,
After twenty years as a marine biologist, a Ph.D. from Harvard, a tenured professorship at the University of New Hampshire, and more than twenty published research papers, why is Dr. Randy Olson telling readers, “Dont Be Such a Scientist” ? The hard-earned advice comes from a fifteen-year career transition to filmmaking, culminating in the acclaimed documentaries Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus and Sizzle: A Global  Warming Comedy.

In his first book, Olson makes clear what those glued to their microscopes and climate models may not recognize: the general public doesnt speak science. For better or worse, most of us rely not on intellect, but on what Olson terms the organs of mass communication: the heart, the gut, and even “the lower organs.” Why else do some still question the existence of global warming

or evolution when the evidence is irrefutable?

Drawing on his own hilariousand at times humiliatingevolution from science professor to Hollywood filmmaker, Olson shares the secrets of talking substance in an age of style. The key, he argues, is to stay true to the facts while tapping into something more primordial, more irrational, and ultimately more human.

In a book enlivened by profane acting teachers and earnest scientists, serious insights and poignant stories, Olson walks the walk. Youll laugh, you may cry, and youll certainly learn how to communicate critical scientific and environmental issues using your heart as well as your head.

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