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Self-propelled Science Communication

Presented at NCBS Oct 14 2010
by

Geoffrey Hyde

on 23 October 2014

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Transcript of Self-propelled Science Communication

Problem
Solution
Exploit the power of story!
Rama and Sita separated
Agent of separation defeated
Resolution
Rama defeats Bali
Fractal
Island

Problem
Question & Answer:
Top Level
Solution
Bridge to Lanka
The Larger Frame
A story has mini-stories
"... and a wind
did stir the sails."

Problem
Persuasion
Point

Solution
Exiled!
Gift Wrap
Reef

Return home
Set-up
Journey
Questions & Answers
Level of Objectives
Problem
Exploit the power of story!
Agent of separation defeated
Question & Answer:
"Aim" level
Rama and Sita separated
Solution
INTRODUCTION (end & start of last two paragraphs)

........ .......... ...Conservation scientists hoping to manage the dwindling numbers of the PTF need to know if either, or both, of these potential causes of population decline - namely increased predation or decreased prey availability - are playing a role on the island.

In this study we have tried to shed light on the causes of population decline of the PTF by.... ........ .......... ............ ......... ........ ....... .......... ........... ..... .............. ...........
DISCUSSION (first paragraph)

In this study our aim was to answer the question: Is there a role for increased predation or decreased prey availability play in the population decline of the Picobar Tree Frog ? As we discuss below, our experiments with captive animals indicate increased predation by rat Snakes is not a factor, but are consistent with a role for the reduced availability of the Picobar Lady Beetle.
EXPECTED OUTCOMES

This study has the potential to shed insight on the cause of the population decline of the Picobar Tree Frog. In particular, if any roles for increased predation or decreased prey availability are counter-indicated by our captive animal approach, this will allow us to to definitively rule out their involvement. Positive results will be harder to interpret because of the limitations of captive studies.
Solution
Justifying first objective
Problem
Mini-stories: should not be gratuitous
Bridge to Lanka
Arguing relevance of Results
Justifying second objective
Rama defeats Bali
INTRODUCTION (start of final paragraph)

In this study we have tried to shed light on the causes of population decline of the PTF by using a captive animal approach to examine (1) if Rat Snakes actually eat these frogs and (2) if the frogs have a strong dietary preference for the Picobar Lady Beetle. ........ .......... ............ ......... ........ ....... .......... ........... .......... ............ ......... ........ .......
METHODS

Preliminary confirmation that starved snakes were hungry

Our experiments relied on the starved, captive Rat Snakes being hungry and in a fit condition to eat Picobar Tree Frogs. To check if this was true we also offered starved captive Rat Snakes only live Brown Frogs (a known prey item of the snake). ............ ..... ... ........... ............. .............. ............ .................
RESULTS: sub-headings declare the main experimental findings

Starved captive Rat Snakes ate Brown Frogs

Starved captive Rat Snakes did not eat Picobar Tree Frogs

Starved captive Picobar Tree Frogs showed a strong dietary preference for Picobar Lady Beetles
INTRODUCTION (continuation of final paragraph)

.......... ............ ............ .......... ........... ...........
........ No-one has previously reported that Rat Snakes do eat PTFs and frogs with bright skin colouration commonly have toxin-containing skin glands (Fox et al., 1975). ...... ......... ........... ............ ...........
.......... ............ ............ .......... ........... ...........
DISCUSSION:

Rat Snakes predation not a likely factor in tree frog population decline.

Our finding, that starved captive Rat Snakes did not eat PTFs, is strong evidence that predation does not occur in the wild. The dietary habits of captive snakes are known to be a reliable indicator of what snakes will eat in their natural habitat (Mint and Slice 1972). Our preliminary experiment, where we found that the captive snakes ate Brown Frogs, indicates that the rejection of the PTFs was not due to the snakes being physiologically stressed. ............. ..................
INTRODUCTION (expanded justification)

.......... ............ ............ .......... ........... ...........
........ No-one has previously reported that Rat Snakes do eat PTFs and frogs with bright skin colouration commonly have toxin-containing skin glands (Fox et al., 1975). Snakes are also well-known to avoid frogs with bright skin colouraion, even if an individual snake has had no prior contact with such a frog. ........... ......... ........... ............ ................
INTRODUCTION (First paragraph, or near start of second paragraph)

......... ............. .................A program was initiated five years ago to examine ways to manage the decline of the Picobar Tree Frog..... ....... ............. ............ ........ .......
DISCUSSION

Conclusion

The likelihood that the decline of the Picobar Lady Beetle is responsible for the population decline of the PTF has led to several new initiatives at the Picobar Tree Frog Reintroduction Centre. First, ........... ................ ............... ........... ............. ............ ............ ............ ................
MAJOR OUTCOMES

Identifying the factors responsible for the decline of the Picobar Tree Frog is crucial to determining the best way to prevent the loss of this species. Saving this frog is important because of the intrinsic value of all life forms and, more practically, because this frog's skin probably contains one or more toxins. Such toxins have been an important source of bio-pharmaceuticals.....
Can we humanize scientific communication?
Can we reduce epic communication tasks to human-sized steps?

Can we find a motivating force that propels authors and audience


at the scale of the whole task, and
down to the human-scaled steps?

Propose that your results help to
answer a question
of interest to your audience
Propose that your results help to
answer a question
of interest to your audience
Experiments focus on
sub-questions of the Aim-Level question
and their answers
Aim-Level: "Real world"
Objective-Level: "Proxy world"
Questions and answers
across the Aim-Objective gap
must be logically connected
Connecting Aim-Objective Levels
Providing
audience-appropriate
context
Adding an outer-shell
A trickier objective
New gift wrap
Full transcript