Don't be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style
1 Jan 2009
How to relate scientific information in a way that entertains and enlightens? After twenty years as a marine biologist, a Ph.D. from Harvard, a tenured professorship at the University of New Hampshire, and more than twenty published research papers, why is Dr. Randy Olson telling readers, 'Don't Be Such a Scientist'? The hard-earned advice comes from a fifteen-year career transition to filmmaking, culminating in the acclaimed documentaries "Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus" and "Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy". In his first book, Olson makes clear what those glued to their microscopes and climate models may not recognize: the general public doesn't speak science. For better or worse, most of us rely not on intellect, but on what Olson terms the organs of mass communication: the heart, the gut, and even 'the lower organs'. Why else do some still question the existence of global warming or evolution when the evidence is irrefutable? Drawing on his own hilarious - and at times humiliating - evolution from science professor to Hollywood filmmaker, Olson shares the secrets of talking substance in an age of style. The key, he argues, is to stay true to the facts while tapping into something more primordial, more irrational, and ultimately more human. In a book enlivened by profane acting teachers and earnest scientists, serious insights and poignant stories, Olson walks the walk. You'll laugh, you may cry, and you'll certainly learn how to communicate critical scientific and environmental issues using your heart as well as your head.