Randy Olson, author of Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style and director of Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy.
Published on: 02-08-2012
Randy Olson, author of Don't Be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style,
will discuss the challenges that scientists face in communicating with the
public during his appearance in Georgia Tech's IMPACT Speaker Series at 4:30
p.m. February 15 in the College of Management.
A scientist turned independent filmmaker, Olson will
screen his latest "mockumentary" Sizzle:
A Global Warming Comedy, which
concerns confusion over climate change, at 6 p.m. (following his IMPACT
lecture). The film will be followed by a
panel discussion featuring Judith Curry, professor and chair of Georgia Tech's
School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and CNN journalist Bobbie Battista.
All of these related events will be held in LeCraw
Auditorium of the Management building (800 West Peachtree Street). They are
free and open to the public (pizza will be served for the film). To help event
organizers order enough pizza for the Olson film, RSVP for Sizzle at http://bit.ly/wjL6O7.
Olson, whose IMPACT lecture is titled "Storytelling:
Clear Proof that Scientists Descended from Humans," believes that
scientists have great difficulty at conveying their work in a compelling way.
"Many even suffer from 'story phobia,' which is the irrational fear of
bending the science to tell a better story," he explains.
Olson, who holds a PhD from Harvard University, achieved
tenure as a marine biologist at the University of New Hampshire before jumping
head first into Hollywood filmmaking at age 38. In his films, he works to communicate
critical science issues to the lay public. His book, Don't Be such a Scientist, is a popular text in various science
courses taught at Georgia Tech.
His visit to campus, hosted by the Institute for
Leadership and Entrepreneurship and the Center for Biologically Inspired
Design, will also include two workshops with students: A "Video
Analysis" in which students receive feedback on short videos about their
research and "Individual Story
Pitches" in which students receive guidance on effective short
storytelling about their projects. Both workshops are full.
Georgia Tech's IMPACT Speaker Series brings notable
business executives, high-tech entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and
intellectual leaders to the College. For the full spring 2012 lineup, visit the IMPACT Website.
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