Apr 20, 2020
Dr. Kika Tuff is an ecologist and science communicator who founded Impact Media Lab, an organization which consists of scientists who seek to change the world through powerful storytelling. In this episode, she discusses the power of making compelling stories to spread scientific knowledge and gain a greater audience as a scientist.
Top three takeaways:
[0:00] Ladan introduces the episode and the guest, Kika Tuff
[2:30] Tuff explains her background and the experiences that inspired her to create Impact Media Lab
[5:15] Tuff explains how stories and characters inspire people more than data, and how it can be very important when trying to inform policy and behavior
[8:00] A lot of times when communicating with scientists, Tuff has realized that extra time must be taken for communication and that initially, a smaller select audience must be chosen for the stories being told
[11:30] Being able to tell your story well can help improve your credibility; return on investment of good communication can be attracting more students, listeners, funders, etc.
[14:30] Important part of grant writing is being able to effectively pitch your ideas, and using compelling story writing can get ideas across better
[18:30] Tuff explains how Impact Media Lab will put together pitches for broader impact for free since the company has a template that is used
[20:45] Science not communicated is science not done
[23:30] Often times scientists get caught up in things like getting grants and publications that it can be hard to step back and ask why they do the work they do and why it fascinates them
[26:45] It is important to evaluate what a lab does and how it is unique in creating a scientist’s “brand”
[29:20] Brand, website, short film, and social media are important steps in building an audience
[33:00] When branding, one must be realistic about the fact that a lot of scientific fields are very niched, but if one has only 1,000 true fans, that is successful
[35:30] Believing in the power of your work, it can be really easy to get disappointed. Even if you feel that what you do doesn’t matter, there is always something compelling that attracted you to the questions you’re trying to answer.
[37:30] Ladan provides additional thoughts on his conversation with Dr. Tuff
[39:00] Neural Implant Media is open to provide media services for scientists, organizations, and conferences