Marshlands on the New Jersey Shore near Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey. Original image from Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress collection. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

So You Want to Change the World

By Nancy Baron

Dec 21, 2016

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The COMPASS team is thinking hard about how we can best help scientists achieve their goals and be agents of change. Despite the uncertainty in navigating a new world, we are energized and ready for the challenges ahead. We’re excited about our continued work with scientists working on everything from the implications of climate change for the global ocean, to solutions to the West’s water challenges that benefit nature and people. We’re committed to our role as cross-pollinators and connectors, among scientists and between scientists and society.

We are also launching new efforts to bring together natural scientists and social scientists to build bridges for understanding political, social, and ecological contexts and to help grow inclusive communities across science and society.

This Nature Comment reflects on the shifts that I have witnessed over the last 15 years as a science communication coach for COMPASS. The bottom-line message: in these tumultuous times, scientists need to support each other in standing up for science – and speak from the heart to connect with their audiences.

It includes a simple tool called the Change Chart (see page 3 of the supplementary information), which we developed to help scientists set goals and take the first steps toward them, drawing upon the power of their collective networks and supporting each other along the way.

We hope that you have some time in the coming weeks to think about personal goals, and how you might want to change the world. As scientists, you all have something to contribute, whether professors emeriti, researchers in government agencies, scientists in non-profit organizations or students setting a course for their life’s path to make a difference. We encourage you to take those first steps – or continue on a journey that is well underway – in the coming year. You will be in good company.

 

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