November 2, 2012 5:45 p.m.
Waleed Abdalati, chief scientist for NASA, visited UCI on Thursday, Nov. 1, at the invitation of Soroosh Sorooshian, Distinguished Professor of civil & environmental engineering. He met with faculty and students funded by NASA and saw firsthand the innovative research with regional, national and global impact that's being conducted. Abdalati also spoke with young researchers about scientists' responsibility to frame their findings in ways that will make society care. "You can't just present data and assume it will take the recipient the same place it's taken you," he told members of Earth system science professor Jay Famiglietti's hydrologic modeling team. "Instead, reframe it from common values. We all care about our kids, our livelihoods, our constituencies. Present your data in a way that will resonate with the person." That doesn't mean changing the data in any way, he stressed. "Be honest, listen, try to understand their skepticism. The person with the power is the person who listens," Abdalati said. "And give them something. Don't leave them hopeless."
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