Friday, March 21, 2014

Filming and Speaking at Pokhara Forestry College

Lecture was a success!
Gave the talk at the Forestry College to the students and professors. It went really well. I decided to talk with them about the importance of learning how to use forms of public media to get out information about science and conservation. I Know!....really? Never would have guessed that as a Jennifer topic!

Pokhara, Nepal (Photo: JLewis)
I explained that when getting their education, they should strongly consider learning about the topic of communication. That this should be considered another important tool to add to your knowledge, just like you would statistics, or how to use certain software programs. I tried to present this to them by showing examples from the United States, where more than 50% of the general public has a disbelief in evolution and climate change, and how this came to be. (Basically as the result of very good PR campaigns from people working the other view point).  

We simply, as scientists can no longer sit on the sidelines and hope our messages will be conveyed to the public only from journalists. This is why I am out here now….documenting a story I think is important. This story is not for other scientists, but for the general public. People I want to convince that science and conservation is important. People I want to inform about what is going out (in this case with a species on the brink of extinction).  

I felt the students in particular really understood the points I was trying to make. What was great was that some of the professors did also, and in fact, they liked the ideas I presented so well, that they asked if our foundation might be able to return and provide some sort of workshop on the topic for their students! Exactly what we would LOVE to do!

And can you be brief? No? Ok…well….maybe?
Can he do it? (Photo: JLewis)
Just like I did in Bangladesh, I asked if I could get some of the students to do the one sentence interviews with me outside. I tried to explain better ahead of time this time. Last time I could not get anyone to stop after one sentence and they would all give me paragraphs.….This time I again had the EXACT same problem! Which again…is really a good thing…because they are passionate. BUT!!!! ARGH!!!

Yes!!! (Photo: JLewis)
So the last kid…he goes all long…paragraphs…..he finishes and I say…Umm…could you do it again…but this time…like blah blah? I had stopped and asked a couple of them to try again ….but it just did not work. ….This kid thinks about it for a second….looks at me….and then BAMM! Hits it out of the park! He got a MAJOR high five from me!

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