Communicating Forest Science (IUFRO)

  • May 21, 2015
Communicating about science in the setting of a forest, grove of trees, or chaparral can bring people with very different experiences together in unexpected and, sometimes, highly productive ways. The language of science translated and brought to non-scientists can transform confusion into understanding. When communicated well – whether in a forest, in a meeting room, or across the miles electronically – science information helps people sort out complex situations and changing conditions related to forests.
This manual was written to help scientists and professional communicators in their communication efforts with people outside of the scientific community. It may also be helpful to research administrators as they consider improvements in the communications of their organizations.
We provide concepts, approaches, and methods in the field of communications, starting with a quick overview of the social science behind communications. “Considerations for Success” were developed to be a quick reference. “Success Stories” provide an understanding of how people from around the world approach challenges in communication amid very different contexts and circumstances. Two of the “Success Stories” were submitted in Spanish, and an English translation is provided. The “Appendices” include a “List of Communication Instruments” that is also referenced to the “Success Stories” and should come in handy if you are exploring particular types of communications.
In developing this manual, we drew from the previous version, Public Relations for Forest Science, published in 2005. For example, the “Media Communication” chapter is still relevant today, with only minor updates needed. We still include the section on “Internal Communication” to help meet the challenges of building a common knowledge base among employees of research organizations. Other chapters were completely revised, and some new chapters were added. Most significantly, all of the “Success Stories” are new, to provide up to date examples of how scientists and professional communicators are meeting today’s challenge of communicating forest science.
We wish all users of this manual a success story of their own in communicating forest science and encourage you to share any questions or comments you might have. We also invite you to become a member of the IUFRO Communications and Public Affairs Working Party to network with us in forest science communication.

Copyright © 2019 Mediterranean Forest Communicators Network.