Enhancing the Science Communication Capabilities of Disabled Writers – The Moon as a Catalyst

(ready to apply? https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GWFLXBT)

We are looking for 12-20 people who:

  1. Identify as disabled in the broadest sense; i.e. chronic illness, use mobility aids, d/Deaf, mental illness (anxiety, depression, etc.), neurodiverse (autistic, ADHD, etc.), use service animals, etc.
  2. Use, or want to use, science in their writing in the broadest sense; such as – writing about space topics on platforms such as Medium, The Establishment, etc.; writing science fiction or other creative writing that might include positive views of science and the process of science; traditional science writers/freelancers; content creators for museums and planetaria; and people with wide social media platforms who curate space science content in interesting ways through tweets, blogs, Instagram, etc. They DO NOT have to have written specifically about science, but instead will use this workshop to understand how they can include an understanding of space science and the scientific process in their further output. Output may include youtube videos, podcasts, articles, posts, editorials, poetry, science fiction, scripts, etc.
  3. Want to commit to joining us for a seven week online workshop (with potential continuing partnerships) exploring how to develop and expand the use of science in their writing using cutting edge NASA scientists and their research as a catalyst.
  4. We would specifically like to encourage intersectional writers to apply, including but certainly not limited to: women, trans/non-binary, people of color, Black writers, native/indigenous writers, various sexual identity, English as second language, etc. 

What we will provide to writers:

  • You do not need to pay for this workshop, if you are selected, we will in fact pay you a total stipend of $225 for participating (limited to US residents only).
  • A seven-week virtual workshop via Zoom in September and October (see below for full schedule)
  • Each week has two virtual face-to-face classes for 120 minutes, with content to include networking, scientist presentations, activities, writing prompts, and the development of a final project. Our workshop lead, Dr. JA Grier, is also a disabled writer as well as a research scientist.

Our Goals for and through participating writers:

  • To promote and support disabled writers interested in space science
  • To introduce them to each other and to us to create/reinforce a supportive network for writers/scientists
  • Through them, to provide the public new voices in space science that intrinsically include disability and other intersectional concerns
  • Through them, to provide the public a positive view, a deeper understanding, and a trust of science and the scientific process
  • Through them, to increase the vectors by which the general public encounters informed and positive views of science (social media, advocacy groups, writer’s platforms, creative writing, etc.) as linked to and as a part of disability/intersectionality
  • Through them, to increase overall public science literacy, and critical thinking ability/opportunities.

Our Goals for our TREX project, and its Scientists and Communicators:

  • Promote overall outreach goals for TREX, SSERVI, and NASA.
  • Give scientists an opportunity to share their research with the public.
  • Give scientists more experience in science communication, and introduce them to issues around disability and sci-comm (science communication.)
  • Give Communicators experience in meeting the needs of disabled audiences.
  • Communicators will write papers/present posters both on how the workshop addressed the sci-comm needs of the general public, AND the specifics of reaching and working with disabled writers.
  • Potential to edit and refine the workshop documents, recordings, and posted projects to create another workshop or other learning opportunity.

General Expectations for Disabled Writers – Note these are general expectations; and we will be flexible and provide accommodations as necessary to all participants.  We are seeking, all of us, to learn how to learn and engage as science writers and as humans, and we will adjust as needed.

  1. Will need them to understand that part of their participation will be helping us to learn how to engage properly with them; we will make mistakes and will expect writers to point these out and help us address those issues.
  2. Writers will have to agree to be recorded during workshops, and will have to agree to allow their materials, especially final projects, to be used in further training opportunities.
  3. Get in contact with us before the workshop and learn how to use Zoom/Slack etc.
  4. Do any necessary preparation and be sure they (and we) have the equipment to participate.
  5. They need to attend 14 face-to-face sessions.  BUT of course, this is going to be friendly to disability so we need to record sessions and allow people to listen later if they have to miss.  Need to consider how sessions can be thoroughly accessible.
  6. They need to stay attentive to Slack and do any necessary work between sessions.
  7. They need to do a final writing project and share it with the world in some fashion.
  8. We need permission to post and use content created in the workshop for promotion and for improving future workshops.  This may include posting materials on our website.
  9. We hope they will stay in touch with each other and with us so that we can all increase the voice of disability in space science writing.  Perhaps we create a portal or gathering point we can all use subsequent to the workshop to keep in touch; would a group twitter feed or such meet the need?

Workshop Schedule

Week 1: September 7 and September 9 – 2pm Pacific/5pm Eastern

Week 2: September 14 and September 16 – 2pm Pacific/5pm Eastern

Week 3: September 21 and September 23 – 2pm Pacific/5pm Eastern

Week 4: September 28 and September 30 – 2pm Pacific/5pm Eastern

Week 5: October 5 and October 7 – 2pm Pacific/5pm Eastern

Week 6: October 12 and October 14 – 2pm Pacific/5pm Eastern

Week 7: October 19 and October 21 – 2pm Pacific/5pm Eastern

Timeline

Applications will be reviewed starting on August 5th and reviewed on a first submitted basis. Participants will be alerted on August 16th. Late applications will be accepted until the workshop is full.

Ready to apply? https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GWFLXBT). Please email buxner@psi.edu with any questions.

TREX Goes to LPSC! March 19-23, 2018

Several TREX team members will be presenting results at the LPSC meeting in Houston, TX, March 19-23 2018. Check out the TREX abstracts: