Sunday, June 14, 2015

Folta News, Standing By for Fallout

I have not been writing much because I've been traveling and writing more than usual, and then also fired up a new podcast. The last two weeks have been truly difference makers. However, when you make a difference, you have to start looking over your shoulder.

1.  Biotech Literacy Project Bootcamp 2 - Davis, CA.

This was a closed, invite-only meeting that allowed scientists, journalists and others to meet and discuss how we can be better communicators with the public. Again, I learned a lot, and I'm amazed at how much we are learning about talking to non-scientists about science. 

2.  Podcast with Joe Rogan

Going in I was not sure how this would break, but Joe and I had a nice conversation that really frames how this discussion needs to go.  It needs to depart from the tired, baseless discussions of Indian suicides and terminator genes, and focus on traits and innovations that can't be used.  These have a daily body count. 

I received literally hundreds (I copied every one) of emails, tweets and facebook messages stating that the podcast flipped perceptions by 180 degrees. I received about 20 angry ones.  That is an unprecedented ratio-- just about inverted. 

3.  Podcast with Cara Santa Maria


Cara and I tied up some loose ends and it was fun. Again, lots of great notes and plenty of positive feedback from social media.  Many notes about how it changed someone's thinking. 

4.  New podcast launched

A new podcast discussing biotechnology in a scientific and even-handed way was posted today.  I posted Talking Biotech ( where I'll have weekly conversations with guests and answer public questions from Twitter. 


One week of solid gains and good traction was quite fulfilling, as it shows that we are learning how to speak to public audiences. 

However, today the number of angry, evil, and even harassing communications is stepping up.  

Watch for a fresh round of discrediting smear.  I can smell it brewing.