Division of Ocean Sciences - Fall/Winter 2001 Newsletter
NSF 02-055
(Replaces NSF 01-127)

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Communicating Research
Results to an Interested Public


It has become increasingly important to highlight significant breakthroughs resulting from NSF-sponsored research in the ocean sciences. Put simply, those that make the difficult decisions regarding agency funding levels have informed us that performance results will affect future agency budgets. For those agencies funding basic research, this presents a significant challenge.

To respond effectively, we need your help.

Discoveries in our oceans captivate the human imagination and serve to remind all about the values of public funding for basic research. We urge you to inform your Program Director or the Division Director of significant discoveries stemming from NSF-funded research and to notify us in advance, if possible, of the publication of results in Science, Nature, and the popular press. Timely notification allows us to make optimal use of such news — if we learn of breaking news after the fact, we lose much of the advantage of being able to respond appropriately within the agency.

In addition to sharing the excitement of research results, there are a number of ways to enhance the visibility of the scientific community and the National Science Foundation. We encourage you to:

  • Give NSF, as well as other government agencies, appropriate credit in articles, during interviews, etc.

  • Ensure that equipment purchased or constructed with NSF funds or facilities supported by NSF grants, are clearly labeled as such. It would be particularly beneficial if NSF logos were prominently displayed on anything that is likely to be photographed!

  • Notify us of any special outreach activities such as web-based efforts to link our science directly to the classroom and the public. A recent news release from the University of Delaware
    (http://www.ocean.udel.edu/newscenter/deepseaDNA.html) is an excellent example.

  • Seize opportunities to educate your communities about the excitement and value of scientific discovery.

Implementing these efforts will further our mutual interest, and the nation’s interest, in sustaining the health of the scientific
enterprise.

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