236 pages, illustrations
When Randy Olson first described his life-changing encounter with an acting teacher in Don't Be Such a Scientist, it seemed like the world of science was on the cusp of gaining new respect in the public eye. Through his writing, speaking, and films, Olson challenged scientists to toss out jargon in favour of a more human approach, bringing Hollywood lessons to the scientific community. Yet today, in everything from government funding cuts to climate change denial, science is under attack. And while communicating science is more crucial than ever, the scientific community still struggles to connect with everyday people.
The time is right for a new edition of Olson's revolutionary work. In Don't Be Such a Scientist, Second Edition, Olson renews his call for communication that stays true to the facts while tapping into something more primordial, more irrational, and ultimately more human. In more than 50 pages of new material, Olson brings his pioneering message to this new age, providing tools for speaking out in a anti-science era and squaring off against members of the scientific establishment who resist needed change.
Don't Be Such a Scientist, Second Edition is a cutting and irreverent manual to making your voice heard in an age of attacks on science. Invaluable for anyone looking to break out of the boxes of academia or research, Olson's writing will inspire readers to "make science human" – and to enjoy the ride along the way.
Review of the first edition:
"Don't Be Such a Scientist is a stinging critique, yet it's also a funny, heart-felt account of one scientist's efforts to make non-scientists care about the natural world."
– Carl Zimmer author of Microcosm and the award-winning science blog The Loom
Chapter 1. Don't Be So Cerebral
Chapter 2. Don't Be So Literal Minded
Chapter 3. Don't Be Such a Poor Storyteller
Chapter 4. Don't Be So Unlikeable
Chapter 5. Don't Be Such a Poor Listener
Chapter 6. Be the Voice of Science!
Appendix: Filmmaking for Scientists
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Randy Olson earned his Ph.D. at Harvard University and achieved tenure at the University of New Hampshire before resigning and moving to Hollywood, obtaining an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California School of Cinema, and embarking on a second career as a filmmaker. Since film school he has written and directed the critically acclaimed films Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus (Tribeca, '06, Showtime) and Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy (Outfest, '08), and co-founded The Shifting Baselines Ocean Media Project, a partnership between scientists and Hollywood to communicate the crisis facing our oceans.