Today we have guest post by the Science Communicator Guru Randy Olson, who wrote an excellent book “Don’t Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style ” and has a great blog as well, The Benshi. The original is here.
Randy Olson, April 29th, 2010
Last Thursday night I was on a panel discussion at M.I.T. for Earth Day about communicating science in today’s information-overloaded world. On the panel was John Sterman of M.I.T. Sloan School of Management whom I met last December when he was in Los Angeles giving a talk (somewhat incongruously at the biggest talent agency in Hollywood to a crowd of entertainment industry gadflies). I found his presentation shockingly interesting, so when he invited me on Thursday to take part in his Climate Interactive simulation exercise the next morning, I figured why not.
He’s part of a team called “Climate Interactive” — a consortium including M.I.T., the Sustainability Institute, and Ventana Systems — who have assembled a simulation model about the climate fate of the planet which is simple enough for people to take part in a role playing version that only takes a few hours, yet opens your eyes up to the dangerous dynamics now unfolding in our planetary atmospheric experiment. He was on our Earth Day panel at M.I.T. on Thursday evening and invited me to join his presentation of the role playing game the next morning at a workshop, which I did.
It was very cool. Very, very cool.