Science Activation

The Jones Center works with partners who want to engage and empower their communities and organizations by bringing science into them and supporting them in using that information.

Science Activation Training with AGU Ocean Sciences Meeting

Science Activation workshop at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego in February 2020

Many scientists want to be more engaged with policy makers and communities. In light of the climate crisis overtaking our world, it is critical that scientists learn how to collaborate in meaningful ways with policy makers at all levels of governments. In collaboration with the Ocean Sciences Meeting organizing societies AGU, ASLO, and TOS, Dr. Jones led three interactive sessions from February 17 to 19 of 2020. Taking the workshop developed for Caltech graduate students and post-doctoral scholars to develop their capacity to engage with public officials, the Jones Center modified the program for a professional conference setting. The hour-long sessions, respectively, examined 1) reimagining science communication and helping leaders shape policies that have been implemented in communities across the country in the public and private sector, 2) making your voice heard with policy makers and how to have a successful meeting in a policymaker’s office to build relationships and set the stage for future collaboration and partnership with elected official’s staff, and 3) policy engagement and developing an approach with key messages to engage with policymakers.

Covid-19 Virtual Forums & Small Business Support

Starting at the end of March 2020, the Dr. Lucy Jones Center with support from Wells Fargo began hosting a series of convenings to help local leaders in the business community and in nonprofits, as well as small businesses themselves, manage the unfolding pandemic. By coupling explanations of how the virus was spreading, how to keep safe, and what to expect next with direct assistance programs and tactics, we were able to provide unique value that was based in science to inspire action. A

These virtual forums took a few forms. First, we held biweekly updates for small businesses and the business community of Southern California in partnership with the L.A. Area Chamber, the LA Economic Development Corporation, and the City and County of L.A. These virtual webinars featured Dr. Jones and other experts to provide insights and assistance on relief programs, safety programs, and other timely information to help businesses manage the unfolding disaster.

We also hosted larger workshops for leaders. In April 2020, we partnered with the Center for Nonprofit Management, Southern California Leadership Network, Valley Nonprofit Resources, and Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce to host a special virtual forum for nonprofit leaders in Los Angeles featuring Dr. Lucy Jones on managing our current pandemic disaster. Dr. Jones provided an overview of what has been happening with the virus in LA County followed by what we have learned from previous disasters that will help us get through this. Nonprofits are essential during a disaster response phase and even more so during the recovery, and this virtual forum explored those opportunities, as well as how we can support each other. Through digital breakout group discussions, this interactive virtual forum revealed the role of nonprofits in the response and recovery and how we can support each other. On June 3, 2020, we also hosted a virtual forum just for leaders of LA County area chambers of commerce and business organization leaders to discuss how they could work together to support each other and what they need to know. The intent was to make sure they had the support to be able to, in turn, support their small business community. Speakers include Dr. Lucy Jones & Bill Allen, President and CEO of the LA Economic Development Corporation.

These convenings lasted through the summer, and then work turned toward working with partners including Wells Fargo, L.A. City and County, LISC – LA, ISD, the LA Area Chamber, and the LAEDC to coordinate activities and develop strategies to support small business in the ongoing pandemic. A report of these efforts and what was learned was issues by ISD in December 2020.

A link to a recording of these forums and further information can be found here.

Getting Through It Podcast

John and Lucy recording the podcast in an appropriately social distant venue.

The Dr. Lucy Jones Center launched a new, weekly podcast called Getting Through It in June 2020 where Dr. Jones sits down with co-host John Bwarie, community resilience expert and Center Deputy Director, to share insights and perspective on the chaotic world around us. Dr. Jones and Bwarie share how the world works, why you might feel the way you do about a particular disaster, and how you can manage the chaos around you that is real life. The topics range from earthquakes to other disasters that affect people, as well as the history of science and big disasters, and how through understanding why, we are more able to manage it and be more successful at “getting through it.” As of January 2021, we have over 60,000 downloads.

Intersection Series

The Intersection Series brings together leaders from different sectors to work towards building more resilient communities. Each event creates a space for gaining insights and sparking collaboration for action. Dr. Jones sits down in deep conversation with her guest, followed by a discussion with those in attendance.

This year, we held one, ritual Intersection “Lunch” in July 2020 in partnership with Unibail- Rodamco-Westfield (URW). The session featured Dr. Deanna Sellnow, Professor and Associate Dean of the Nicholson School of Communications at the University of Central Florida, to explain how people process information and how communicators can most effectively provide the information needed to have others take the necessary steps for response. What is at risk is our economy and way of life, and this virtual session provided the tools, techniques, and underlying science to empower business and local leaders to manage people who are reacting differently to the same risk.