Science and Society

Neurotalk: improving the communication of neuroscience research

  • Nature Reviews Neuroscience volume 11, pages 6169 (2010)
  • doi:10.1038/nrn2773
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Abstract

There is increasing pressure for neuroscientists to communicate their research and the societal implications of their findings to the public. Communicating science is challenging, and the transformation of communication by digital and interactive media increases the complexity of the challenge. To facilitate dialogue with the public in this new media landscape, we suggest three courses of action for the neuroscience community: a cultural shift that explicitly recognizes and rewards public outreach, the identification and development of neuroscience communication experts, and ongoing empirical research on the public communication of neuroscience.

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      Acknowledgements

      This paper is based on NeuroTalk: Communication for Senior Scientists, a workshop held at The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada, 19–22 March, 2009 (co-chairs J. Ingram and J. Illes.). The support of Imperial Oil (to J. Ingram and M.A.M), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) CNE #85117 (to J. Illes), NIH/NIMH 9R01MH84282-04A1 (to J. Illes), CIHR and Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (to E.R.), and CIHR, CTV and a Globemedia Fellowship (to K.D.S.) is gratefully acknowledged. We also thank S. Lombera for research assistance.

      Author information

      Affiliations

      1. Judy Illes and Kevin D. Sauvé are at the National Core for Neuroethics, The University of British Columbia, 2211 Wesbrook Mall, Koerner S124, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 2B5, Canada.

        • Judy Illes
        •  & Kevin D. Sauvé
      2. Mary Anne Moser is at the Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive, Northwest Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada.

        • Mary Anne Moser
      3. Jennifer B. McCormick is at the Departments of Medicine and Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic and College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.

        • Jennifer B. McCormick
      4. Eric Racine is at the Neuroethics Research Unit, IRCM,110 Avenue des Pins Ouest, Montréal, Quebec H2W 1R7, Canada.

        • Eric Racine
      5. Sandra Blakeslee is a freelance journalist working from Santa Fe, New Mexico 87506, USA.

        • Sandra Blakeslee
      6. Arthur L. Caplan is at the Centre for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania, 3401 Market Street, Suite 320, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

        • Arthur Caplan
      7. Erika Check Hayden is at Nature, 225 Bush Street, Suite 1453, San Francisco, California 94104, USA.

        • Erika Check Hayden
      8. Jay Ingram can be contacted through CTV at Daily Planet, Discovery Channel, 9 Channel Nine Court, Scarborough, Ontario M1S 4B5, Canada.

        • Jay Ingram
      9. Tiffany Lohwater is at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 1200 New York Avenue, Northwest Washington DC 20005, USA.

        • Tiffany Lohwater
      10. Peter McKnight is at Vancouver Sun, Suite 1, 200 Granville Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 3N3, Canada.

        • Peter McKnight
      11. Christie Nicholson is at Scientific American, 292 DeKalb Avenue, 3 Brooklyn, New York 11205, USA.

        • Christie Nicholson
      12. Anthony Phillips is at the Institute on Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), 2255 Westbrook Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 2A1, Canada.

        • Anthony Phillips
      13. Elaine Snell is at the European Dana Alliance for the Brain, Snell Communications Ltd, Science, Medicine and Health, PO BOX 10461, London SW11 6ZJ, UK.

        • Elaine Snell
      14. Samuel Weiss is at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Health Research Innovation Centre – Room 1A10, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive, Northwest Calgary, Alberta T2N 4N1, Canada.

        • Samuel Weiss

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      Competing interests

      The authors declare no competing financial interests.

      Corresponding author

      Correspondence to Judy Illes.