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Communicating Science

Revised: Oct. 2012

"If you don't toot your own horn, who'll do it for you?"

In its founding statutes, NASA is expected to tell the public about its inventions and discoveries. Daring exploits, strange sights, and exotic places have an attraction that predate NASA by thousands of years, but the wonders that NASA can tell are often hard to understand. This webpage is designed to help people who normally talk about what they do only with other specialists to spread the word to members of the general public. You may also find useful resources in our webpages on Management Communication, Scientific Literacy, or Public Opinion of the American Space Program.

The following is a select bibliography of pertinent materials accessible to the patrons of the NASA HQ Library. All items are available at the Headquarters Library, except as noted. NASA Headquarters employees and contractors: Call x0168 or email Library@hq.nasa.gov for information on borrowing or in-library use of any of these items. Members of the public: Contact your local library for the availability of these items. NASA Headquarters employees can request additional materials or research on this topic. The Library welcomes your comments or suggestions about this webpage.

Contents: Policies Books E-books Journals Internet Resources

NASA Policies

The following policies and procedural requirements can be accessed by anyone through the NASA Online Directives Information System:
NASA Procedural Requirements 1450.10D: NASA Correspondence Management and Communications Standards and Style
NASA Policy Directive 2200.1B: Management of NASA Scientific and Technical Information
NASA Procedural Requirements 2200.2C: Requirements for Documentation, Approval, and Dissemination of NASA Scientific and Technical Information
NASA Policy Directive 2521.1A: Communications and Material Review


Blum, Deborah, Mary Knudsen, and Robin Marantz Henig. A Field Guide for Science Writers. Oxford, UK; New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN: 0195174984
T11 .F54 2006 BOOKSTACKS
Christensen, Lars Lindberg, Manoulis Zoulias, and Ian Robson (eds.). Communicating Astronomy with the Public: 2007. Athens, Greece: IAU, National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Eugenides Foundation, 2007.
Dean, Cornelia. Am I Making Myself Clear?: A Scientist's Guide to Talking to the Public. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009. ISBN: 9780674036352
Q223 .D43 2009 BOOKSTACKS
Hayes, Richard. A Scientist's Guide to Talking with the Media: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2006. ISBN: 0813538580
Q225 .H39 2006 BOOKSTACKS
Heck, A., and Claus Madsen (eds.). Astronomy Communication. Dordrecht; Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003. ISBN: 1402013450
QB14.2 .A88 2003 BOOKSTACKS
National Academy of Engineering. Committee on Public Understanding of Engineering Messages. Changing the Conversation: messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering . Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2008. ISBN: 0309119340
TA160.4 .N38 2008 BOOKSTACKS
Online as an e-book at the National Academies Press.
Olson, Randy. Don't be Such a Scientist: Talking Substance in an Age of Style. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2009. ISBN: 9781597265638
Q223 .O47 2009 BOOKSTACKS
Porter, Gail (ed.). Communicating the Future: Best Practices for Communication of Science and Technology to the Public. Washington, DC: US GPO, 2002.
Q181 .A1 C66 2002 BOOKSTACKS
Powell, Kendall. Communicating Science: Giving Talks. Research Triangle Park, NC: Burroughs Wellcome Fund, 2007.
PN4121 .P884C 2007 BOOKSTACKS
Robson, Ian, and Lars Lindberg Christensen (eds.). Communicating Astronomy with the Public: 2005. Garching bei Muenchen, Germany: Hubble European Space Information Centre, 2005.
Smith, Marcia, rapporteur. Sharing the Adventure with the Public: The Value and Excitement of "Grand Questions" of Space Science and Exploration: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 2011. ISBN: 0309221595
QB500.266 266 .U6 S43 2011 BOOKSTACKS
Online as an e-book at the National Academies Press.


All e-books listed here are available to NASA civil servants and contractors through the Books 24×7 service of SATERN.
Ancowitz, Nancy. Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead. McGraw-Hill, 2010. ISBN: 9780071591294
Blossom, John. Content Nation: Surviving and Thriving as Social Media Technology Changes Our Lives and Our Future. John Wiley & Sons, 2009. ISBN: 9780470379219
Myers, Judith Gillespie. Plain Language in Government Writing: A Step-by-Step Guide. Management Concepts, 2008. ISBN: 9781567262247
O'Loghlin, James. Umm...A Complete Guide to Public Speaking. Allen & Unwin, 2006. ISBN: 9781741149548
The e-book listed below is available to the general public through the National Academies Press.
Masciangioli, Tina (Rapporteur). Chemistry in Primetime and Online: Communicating Chemistry in Informal Environments. 2011. ISBN: 9780309187701


Note: The first two journals can be accessed by anyone.
CAPjournal: Communicating Astronomy with the Public
Journal of Science Communication
Science Communication

Internet Resources

American Association for the Advancement of Science. Center for Public Engagement with Science and Technology. 2012 [Oct. 16, 2012]
Communicating Astronomy with the Public: IAU Division XII Commission 55. Dec. 31, 2010 [Oct. 16, 2012]
Holm, Jeanne. NASA Office of Communications Planning. Oct. 1, 2012 [Oct. 16, 2012]
The National Association of Science Writers, Inc. Oct. 16, 2012 [Oct. 16, 2012]

Last Updated: Oct. 2012