TELL YOUR STORY: PREFACE
There is no greater challenge facing the future of biomedical research than to communicate to the public the importance of what we do.
In most training programs, participants receive little or no formal training to build these skills for public engagement. On the contrary, most trainees are primed to communicate with a restricted audience of fellow researchers with interest in their particular area of science.
One need only attend the press conferences at any national scientific meeting to see that the language of our scientific community does not capture the imagination of the assembled members of the press. In some instances, scientists will use the same slides in their presentation to press as they did with scientific colleagues.
As director of the education core of the Methamphetamine Abuse Research Center (a NIDA-funded P50 grant), I wanted to address this deficit in the training of our investigators and trainees. To that end, the core established a collaboration with Oregon Partnership, the premier resource for drug prevention services in Oregon, and its media specialist and local press veteran, Pete Schulberg.
This media training manual is the outcome of that effort and represents decades of experience that Mr. Schulberg has in written and broadcast journalism. All of the principles put forth here have been tested on the investigators of our center. Each investigator funded by the MARC has gone through three video-training sessions with Mr. Schulberg to create a concise message, communicate enthusiasm, and establish a camera presence. The results of this training can be viewed on our website.
The current draft of this media manual is a living document and will be updated based on our continuing experience with training established and emerging investigators. We hope that it will provide interested scientists with a resource for their efforts to broaden their audience.
William Cameron, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator, Education Core
Methamphetamine Abuse Research Center
Oregon Health & Science University and Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center