Boston, MA, USA — At this explosive time of scientific discovery and tech innovation, the need to elevate scientific understanding in public audiences is crucial. Jackson Hole WILD and WGBH/Boston have joined to convene 300 science leaders & media innovators for three stimulating days of provocative exchange during the Science Media Awards & Summit, Sept 20-22 in Boston. Newly announced sessions include:
Science Storytelling: What’s Trending Now?
Online streaming and video on-demand have radically altered the way we produce and consume media. In our transmedia world, is there still room for blockbuster science—and if so, what form will it take? Seasoned storytellers offer insight into the dynamic and disruptive trends in science media programming.
Contagion: Breaking Science News
We are in the midst of a revolution in the real-time transfer of information. From AI to Zika, breakthroughs in science captivate audiences around the globe almost instantly. What were the most important science news stories of the past two years? How effectively did we tell them and what did we miss?
Experiential Media and Immersive Storytelling
Session Producer, John Fraser, New Knowledge Organization, Ltd.
From Virtual Reality to citizen science to games, interactive media has deep reach and measurable impact. What transforms audiences from passive observers to active participants and what actually works in this realm to elevate scientific understanding? We take a hard look at the science behind science engagement in this rapidly-morphing sector.
Idea Salon: Precision Food
Session Producers: John Rubin & Anne Tarrant, Tangled Bank Studios/HHMI
Cooking has long been considered more of an art than a science. But now a suite of empirical methods and high-tech tools are muscling in. From parametrically tested recipes to genetically engineered flavors to food built by a 3D printer, science and engineering are heating things up in the kitchen.
Here’s your chance to experience first-hand the power of being inside an unfolding story in the world of virtual experience, with an evening of hands-on demos with some of the year’s most compelling Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and interactive games and apps.
Idea Salon: Bringing Big Data to Life
In the era of “Big Data,” how do we interpret gigabytes of information to make sense and influence our world? From medicine to biodiversity, climate change to astrophysics, scientists are leveraging the power of big data to visualize the past, find patterns in the present and affect the future.
Beyond Clickbait: Creating Smart, Strategic & Irresistible Online Content
Session Producer, Anna Rothschild, WGBH
Facebook Live. Snapchat. Instagram. The array of content distribution platforms is exploding. In this ambitious session we’ll meet some of the science producers experimenting on the frontiers of digital storytelling. Using detailed analytics to understand their audiences and inform their narrative strategies, can they uphold the editorial standards so vital to science communication? Viral content doesn’t have to be clickbait to be compelling.
Taking a Stand
Session Producer, Michael Rosenfeld, Amber Road Media
While science is illuminating crucial issues and decisions that confront us—from climate change to GMO’s—it seems that the growing scientific consensus on these issues often gets lost in a chorus of distorted science and political agendas. Is it time for scientists and filmmakers to take a stand? How can they do so without sacrificing credibility? What happens when we blur the line between telling a story and advocacy?
Idea Salon: Being Human
Session Producer: Graham Townsley
Neuroscience is unlocking the mystery of our memories and emotions. Advances in synthetic biology and gene editing techniques such as CRISPR may force us to confront the fundamental blueprints of humanity. And our nascent understanding of the microbiome reveals just how little we know about the intricate balance of our own basic physiology. In this session, we’ll explore recent discoveries that are changing our understanding of ourselves.
Idea Salon: EUREKA!
Session Producer, Sarah Goforth, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
Session Moderator, Kirk Johnson, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
A look at “game changing” discoveries and technological innovation just beyond the horizon, in a tantalizing session guaranteed to surprise!
The Sound of Science
As it turns out, in science storytelling, a picture may not be worth a thousand words. Some of the most compelling and timely science media is delivered by audio – radio and podcasts. Audio is being consumed in new ways and is growing in popularity, with the U.S. podcast-listening audience nearly tripling in the past decade. What are the challenges and opportunities of today’s audio-only mediums for communicating complex scientific topics? Join us as we tune into the sound of science.
Wrapping Things Up: A Lunchtime Dialogue
Session Moderators: Brian Leith, Brian Leith Productions and
Thomas Levenson, Graduate Program of Science Writing, MIT
From twelve provocative sessions to last night’s awards—and all the conversations in between–we’ve covered a lot over the past few days. What are the big takeaways and surprising revelations? Join a frank and interactive discussion that will lay the groundwork for continuing the conversation in Jackson Hole next year, and at SMASH18.
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