At this year’s AAAS annual meeting, the volume of sessions and workshops about science communications clearly reflected the community’s growing appetite and interest. We’re notably moving past conversations about why scientists need to engage, and into conversations around how we can best support scientists to do so. Research shows that scientists do want to engage, but that they don’t have the time or resources to do it.
I’m excited to be writing my first blog post as a new member of the COMPASS team. I joined COMPASS two months ago, and one of the facets of work here that I’m particularly excited by is COMPASS’ role as a boundary organization. Boundary organizations are so named because they sit at the “boundary” between science and non-science. COMPASS has traditionally helped scientists navigate across the boundaries separating science from policy and media, although we are increasingly exploring ways we can support scientists to cross boundaries to connect with business, legal and other communities as well. A relatively new term, the definition and theory of “boundary organizations” began to coalesce in the early 2000s, but the role that boundary organizations play – the seat between science and non-science – has been evolving over a much longer timescale.
COMPASS needed to investigate how they might contribute at the boundary of science and business, so naturally they needed someone who knew about synergy – an MBA intern! As a master’s candidate in environmental sciences and business management, I felt well positioned to help COMPASS investigate what they’ve been hearing for awhile now – an unmet need at the intersection of science and business. [Read more…]
As we’ve shared here, we are excited, energetic, (and a little bit nervous) to be expanding our traditional scope beyond ocean science, to science and scientists more broadly connected to the relationship between people and planet. We spent the better part of 2012 interviewing, researching, and digging into what we have done already and how the COMPASS approach could apply more broadly.
In our exploratory conversations with leaders from science, government, NGOs, and the media world, we received – often unsolicited – feedback on potential connections between scientists and the business community. “That is where the really transformative stuff happens,” we heard.
This message resonated with us. A changing climate, water supply, or weather system can affect business processes and decisions, and of course, bottom lines. Forbes recently reported on how businesses can be more resilient to climate change – and how taking these steps also represent good business decisions. We recognize that it’s time for us to look into whether we have a role at the boundary between science and business. [Read more…]