Monday, September 20, 2010

Archaeology (and Archaeological Sciences?) and the Global Economic Crisis

Recently, Nathan Schlanger and Kenneth Atichison edited a report of the effects of the global economic crisis on archaeology, published by ACE Project and Culture Lab Editions. While this report mainly focuses on the US and specific countries in Europe, does it reflect worldwide trends in economics and archaeology? Is the field of archaeology suffering major declines due to the economic climate? If so, are these changes permanent or transitory? How can we quantify anecdotal or media evidence? Are the changes destructive or constructive? As archaeologists, we should be aware of how these events have a way of being cyclical.

The report does not specifically address archaeological sciences or archaeometry, but I imagine funding and personnel changes have also affected many of us regardless of employer or institution.

The editors are collecting information on the effects of the global crisis on archaeology for a future publication, so are interested in hearing from the community.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Article of Interest: "Why Trust a Reporter?"

A useful article in the recent issue of TheScientist.com (Volume 24 Issue 9 Page 40 Date: 2010-09-01) features helpful tips to scientists when giving an interview on research. The author, Edyta Zielinska, covers the basics about how to slow down, make your research clear, and avoid "press pitfalls."

The following disclaimer is provided alongside the various defnitions and helpful strategies: "While the following represent widely held definitions in the field, not every reporter will interpret the rules in the same way. Your best bet is to either not say anything you don’t want to see in print or have an explicit conversation with the reporter about how your words will be used before the interview begins. "

Read more: Why Trust A Reporter? - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences http://www.the-scientist.com/2010/9/1/40/1/#ixzz0zQNEkvwm

A lively, and at times cynical, response section highlights concerns of the scientific community in responding to requests for interviews. This subject addresses the issue of how to control your message to the public. Science communication extends to the broader goal of promoting science in the community and not just to teaching students how to do it. What are the best examples of public outreach and news media for archaeological sciences, especially by SAS membership? To get things started, here is a post to a recent link from the SAS Blog -

Archaeometry SAS-blog: Video interview with SAS President Sandra López Varela