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Clearly Communicating Scientific Information (HLOL #83)

by | Sep 4, 2012

David Nelson MD, MPH is Director of the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program at the National Cancer Institute. Prior to this position, Dr. Nelson worked as an epidemiologist and health communication scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He is the author, co-author, or lead author of numerous books and over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles.

In this podcast, Dr. Nelson talks with Helen Osborne about:

  • Why it can be hard to communicate scientific information to lay audiences.
  • Ways to communicate clearly–beginning with an understanding of your audience, their beliefs, and communication goals.
  • How to tell a scientific story using data, metaphor, visuals, and examples.
  • What to consider when weighing the “ethics of simplicity.”

More ways to learn:

  • Nelson DE, Hesse BW, Croyle RT (2009). Making Data Talk: Communicating Public Health Data to the Public, Policy Makers, and the Press. Oxford University Press.
  • National Cancer Institute, US Department of Health and Human Services (2011). Making Data Talk: A Workbook. At http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/cancerlibrary/MDT-Workbook.pdf
  • Parvanta C, Nelson DE, Parvanta SA, Harner RN (2010). Essentials of Public Health Communication. Jones and Bartlett Learning.
  • Remington PL, Nelson DE, Parvanta C (2002). Communicating Public Health Information Effectively: A Guide for Practitioners. American Public Health Association.
  • Osborne H (2004). “In Other Words…The Ethics of Simplicity,” On Call magazine. Available at www.healthliteracy.com/ethics-of-simplicity
  • Rosling, Hans (2010). “The Joy of Stats,” Wingspan Productions for BBC. At http://www.gapminder.org/videos/the-joy-of-stats/

Health Literacy from A to Z: Practical Ways to Communicate Your Health Message, Second Edition (Updated 2018), by Helen Osborne. Relevant chapters include: 9, 11, 26, 28, 30.

Read a transcript of this podcast.

 

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