Research!America president and CEO Mary Woolley urged scientists to talk to relatives, friends and lawmakers about their research to help combat what she called “the invisibility of research around the country.” Her remarks were part of a December 15 presentation at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine titled “Your Role in Changing Hearts and Minds for Science,” supported by the Kavli Foundation.
Woolley described changing hearts and minds as “the simple and important art of persuasion that starts with building relationships.”
Before reaching out to lawmakers, scientists must first identify which ones represent them, she said.
“Would you recognize your government representatives if you bumped into them at Starbucks?” Woolley asked the audience. “Would they recognize you? If not, find out what they look like and be ready to thank them for their public service and explain that that’s what your work is all about, as well.”
Woolley cautioned against pitches that rely too heavily on numbers and not enough on personal connection.
“We can’t expect to change hearts and minds by clobbering people with data,” she noted. “Emotion is at the basis of persuasion.”
Watch a recording at http://bit.ly/2CsRl1i.