Special Workshop at 30th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

Planetary Scientists Meet the Press

Sunday, March 14, 1999      12:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Dear Colleague:

We live in an era where scientific discoveries and technical innovations abound. The pace of these is often dizzying, even for scientists. For the public, it's harder still to make sense of reports that they see and hear and to figure out if the tax dollars that support them are well spent.

The job of communicating within the technical community is one that we are all too familiar with, and most of us are pretty good at it. But most scientists and engineers have little training or experience in communicating with the non-technical world. This kind of communication, from scientist to the larger public, does not take place directly, but usually involves reporters working for newspapers, magazines, radio, and television. Thus, journalists are key partners in informing and educating the public in this increasingly technical society. They are essential in helping us to explain the "what?" and the "so what?" of scientific discovery, especially in the case of publicly funded programs. It seems obvious that we should strive for better understanding and more effective working relationships between scientists and the journalists who bring the stories to the non-experts.

The LPI Broker/Facilitator Program would like to help promote this understanding by offering a media training workshop for planetary scientists, including postdocs and graduate students. The workshop, "Planetary Scientists Meet the Press," will be held at the LPI on Sunday, March 14, the day before the beginning of the 30th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. The goals of the workshop are the following:

The workshop will involve several experienced reporters representing daily newspapers, monthly magazines, and television news.


David Black, LPI Director
Jeff Taylor, University of Hawai'i
Carl Pilcher, NASA HQ
Nancy Holland, KHOU (CBS) Houston TV
Kelly Beatty, Sky and Telescope
John Wilford, NY Times



Lunar and Planetary Institute Lecture Hall
3600 Bay Area Blvd., Houston TX

To register to attend the workshop, send an e-mail to Pam Thompson (thompson@lpi.usra.edu) noting that you wish to attend the workshop. Alternatively, you may register here. Attendance is limited to the first 100 to register.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop.

Best regards,

David Black G. Jeffrey Taylor
Director, LPI Director, Hawai'i Space Grant Consortium