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Neurotalk: improving the communication of neuroscience research


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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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.

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Correspondence to Judy Illes.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Judy Illes' homepage

The AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellows Program

Data sets from Pew Internet and American Life Project

Demographics of Internet Users, Pew Internet and American Life Project

FASEB Washington Update

Internet Activities, Pew Internet and American Life Project

Society for Neuroscience Science Educator Award

The Brain from Top to Bottom

Twitter and status updating, Pew Internet and American Life Project

Wellcome Trust Broadcast Development Awards

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Illes, J., Moser, M., McCormick, J. et al. Neurotalk: improving the communication of neuroscience research. Nat Rev Neurosci 11, 61–69 (2010).

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