Championing Science

Championing Science

Communicating Your Ideas to Decision Makers

UC Press, 2019 more...

Editorial Rating



Husband and wife Roger and Amy Aines offer their combined knowledge of science and communication. He is a chief scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; she specializes in helping scientists communicate ideas. They break down the mechanics of conveying information with specific guidance for scientists. They cover the use of jargon and acronyms, explain why details don’t always help and demonstrate good presentations. They provide the basics for new speakers with insightful examples. This is the right book for making a funding pitch and explaining tough material to a lay audience.

To communicate your ideas to decision makers, know your audience.

Roger and Amy Aines set out to help scientists communicate by explaining, “Championing science is never an event – it is a process.” The authors cite Robert Millikan, co-founder of the California Institute of Technology and a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, who engaged and excited people about creating a new university. By inviting people who weren’t scientists to share his scientific dreams, he established the university without state funds.

The Aineses suggest that whether you’re speaking one-on-one to a decision maker or addressing a small gathering or a large group, you must understand who is present. Research the audience so you can tailor your presentation. Make sure that your listeners understand what you are saying. Learn who is attending, whom they represent and what their jobs are. Find out, the authors advise, if they are familiar with your subject or have a strong opinion about it.

About the Authors

Roger Aines is chief scientist of the Energy Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Amy Aines, founder and CEO of Damianakes Communications, facilitates communication of scientific and technological ideas.

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