How do scientists share research results without creating controversy?

For centuries scientists have been a vital part of our ecosystem evolving and progressing forward into the future. They have found cures for the world’s most devastating diseases and answered questions previously unknown to mankind. How can they manage these feats without causing a controversial uproar? They can solve issues of the most delicate matter without creating turmoil in the media and do so every day.

Scientists have learned through the years how to convey information that may be sensitive to the public in a way that is understood and accepted. They have learned to do this by not insulting the public’s intelligence, but also not overestimating their understanding of the issue. They provide clear examples and use terms and explanations that an average person is capable of understanding. Although, if conflict does arise, they have also started accepting conflict because one hundred percent of people are never going agree with any topic.

Instead of refusing to accept others ideas and suggestions, scientists now welcome them in hopes of creating an even better solution the problem at hand. The more diversity that is involved with fixing an issue, the more applicable the solution can be to everyone. Scientists know that they do not have answers for everything; that’s why they are open to hear criticism without immediately disputing the comment.

Above all, the most important thing is to be open an honest about controversial issues in the beginning. The quickest way to stir up drama is lying or misleading the public into creating it. Everyone knows, it’s always better to just tell the truth, and that still applies when presenting controversial information. As an example, if a celebrity was seen sneaking around with a stranger, and they did not recognize the issue, the public could see it in a variety of ways and then everything is blown out of proportion in a negative way. If they had came forward in the beginning and told the truth, the issue could have been taken care of in a better fashion.  

In conclusion, scientists have evolved the way they transmit information to us to keep the level of controversy down. They have taken different approaches presenting information based on the circumstance at hand and what is best suited for the situation. They know everyone won’t agree, and they are welcome to hear a different approach to the issue.


-Corey Hofelich

Communication Breakdown in the Business World

What is communication breakdown? I have researched the definition of communication breakdown, however, I have not found a source that gives an exact definition of the term. This may be because communication breakdown happens all the time, whether it be in our personal life or in our work life. Think about someone saying, “Hey we need to get this done ASAP!” Most people interpret “ASAP” very differently. One person may think “ASAP” means by the end of the day, while someone else may feel “ASAP” means sometime this month. The smallest detail can cause communication to breakdown, which is the failure to get a point across. Communication breakdown happens all the time in the business world, which is what I will be focusing on, and giving you some examples of how communication can breakdown.

One example of communication breakdown is no communication at all. Lets assume there is bicycle factory that manufactures different types and styles of bikes on the same assembly line. One of the large customers decides they would like to order a different style bike than usual. Management decides the company has been doing well in productivity and will be better off not telling the shop floor employees to ensure the productivity stays up. However, a few days later people realize that they weren’t making near as many of the bikes that customer used to order time and time again. At the same time, not realizing how many more of the different styles were being produced that the customer switched to. This is when rumors begin to arise. Not updating employees on certain changes and important information can begin rumors like layoffs, decrease in pay, decrease in hours, or loss of benefits. Once rumors begin, you can expect employee moral to decrease along with productivity. You can avoid rumors by keeping employees up to date on what is happening with the business and not to keep them in the dark about issues that may arise.

Now lets say, for example, you tell your boss that you need the materials, to complete your job, delivered to your station by Friday. However, you forgot to tell him that you needed those materials by 7:00am. You don’t get the materials for the job until 2:00pm. The ending result was you missed the deadline for your job because you failed to communicate a specific detail. If you say you need something tomorrow, you can bet on getting it tomorrow but you can’t bet on what time it will come unless you specify exactly when you need it. Specifying the smallest details can greatly improve communication and give it less chance of breaking down.

Here is another example of communication breakdown. A manager runs a team of employees that tests the product of the company. The manager got orders from the vice president that she wants each employee on the team to test five products a day versus the four that they have always done. The manager realizes the employees will not like that very much, so instead of explaining the matter, he decides to take action and bark the orders at the employees to push them up to five tested products per day. This in return caused a crisis causing all of the employees to quit the job because they had enough of being pushed to hard. The manager could ask for feedback from the employees to see what improvements need to be made to test one more product per day. Barking the orders and trying to rush the employees caused a loss in important feedback that could help the test department.

Communication breakdown happens everyday, especially in business. There are so many ways for communication breakdown to come about but there is plenty of ways to help prevent it. Here are some tips to prevent communication breakdown between yourself and others in the workplace or in your personal life.

· Be specific on detail. Who, what, when, where, why, how
· Don’t rush the information you are trying to tell someone
· Acknowledge they are on the same page all the way through
· Use proper grammar in emails
· Encourage questions and feedback!

Here are a few tips for a business to improve communication and decrease breakdown.

· Be specific
· Don’t keep employees in the dark about important issues
· Constantly update employees to ensure they are on the same page
· Encourage feedback from employees!

This is just a brief explanation of communication breakdown, but hopefully this will help you realize the simplest of things can cause miscommunication. So the next time you tell someone “ASAP” you may want to go ahead and give them a date and time as well.

By: Joey Wilkerson, IUPUC Student

Work Cited

“Liberal” and “Conservative”: The effects of labels and language on Government.

Have you ever asked yourself way politics have so many different ways of grouping political groups?  Why do Democrats and Republicans often get called by some label other than Democrats and Republicans?  Why does it matter what words are used to describe any given group?  All of this shows the power that language can have on how individuals view each other.

Here is an example of how just the simple words used to describe a situation can change every assumption that is made about the situation.

If a group of individuals are describe as wearing similar baggy clothing and hanging out downtown in a large metropolitan area conclusions will be drawing as to this being some form of a gang and thus being in a “gang” they must be criminals.  Now if that same group of individuals are described as wearing keikogi (traditional Japanese martial arts uniform) and waiting outside of a large sporting complex on the weekend of a martial arts tournament a completely different conclusion will be drawn.  These individuals will no longer be viewed as a “gang” and therefore the concern of them being criminals will be removed.

As can be seen the words used to describe the clothing as well as the location of the individuals changed the picture that was painted.  Giving different details on both the clothing and the location allows one to understand more of the picture.

Now looking at American politics and you have 3 major groups’ Democrats, Republicans, and Independent.  Given the United States was formed after a war for independents from English rule and with the government structured as a democratically elected republic.  That puts all three groups’ labels at the very core of the nation’s identity.

Just like the first two major political groups of the Federalist and the Anti-Federalist names were picked with the soul proposes of shaping populist views.  The Federalist group was formed to gain support for the replacement of the Articles of Confederation with a new stronger government with more powers of a central government as the current government lack the power needed to insure the peace and tranquility that the general society wanted.  The group that formed to express fear over the increasing power of the government under the proposed government was named by the Federalist as the Anti-Federalist.  The naming of the opposing group as Anti-Federalist which was done by the Federalist group allowed the Federalist to argue that this group was against the constitution and therefore a better government, as opposed to the idea that this group was for a better government than that Articles of Confederation just not the government that was purposed under the Federalist idea.  Therefore from the start of the American government language has always played a very important role.  So how does the labels of liberal and conservative affect today’s views of government.  For this the two terms need to be defined.  So what does the term liberal mean, as defined by liberal means;

“Favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties”

So by using the label as liberal a group will appear to be for increasing the degree of freedoms individuals have and therefore will have good populist support.  If “liberal” is for individual freedoms than what does conservative mean.  For this we shall return to to define conservative;

“Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions etc, or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.”         

So if a conservative is for limited change and the US was founded as a free nation then both a liberal and a conservative still want freedom.  Therefore neither label by itself has a negative effect on the groups’ populist view.

However the liberal wanting to have the government insure freedoms and the conservative not wanting change can cause issues.  The end effect of the two opposing view have driven more topics in to the view of the government.  Topics like gay marriage at the Federal level is a product of the Liberal side wanting to insure the right of gay marriage in all states by way of the Federal Government   This in turn resulting in a “Conservative” movement to make gay marriages illegal by law to preserve what is viewed as traditional values. 

The question is no longer ask if an issues is a Federal issue or a State issue it is view as the Federal Government is the absolute power of the land.  This changing view has allowed the common view of the Bill of Rights to be a document that gives freedoms to the people from the government as opposed to the document insuring that the people never gave the power to the government to address the topics protected by the Bill of Rights. 

The usage of labels can be seen throughout the political environment today to allow the depersonalization of a topic.  This can be as simple as Harry Reid using the term anarchist to describe the Tea Party as populist view of anarchy is a negative view.  The usage of extreme to describe the Tea Party as well as terms like anarchist has allowed the simple association of Tea Party to have a negative effect.  Even with the idea behind the name of Tea Party was to draw upon the ideas behind the Boston Tea Party.  The term Tea in Tea Party was an acronym for Taxed Enough Already.

The Occupy Wall Street movement also used the label 1% to describe individuals with large income and wealth.  The usage of this label allowed that subgroup to be viewed as not the same as the other 99%.   This allowed populist support for the Occupy Wall Street movement as it is the voice of the 99%. Therefore if you did not support them the result was that you had to be part of the 1% that caused all the problems. 

The usage of labels in government and politics at all levels allow the alienation of any person that does not agree with the matter at hand.  The health care reform law which is named the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” allows any argument against it to sound like an argument against protecting patients and making insurance health care cost affordable.  Using the label Obamacare it now changes the argument to one between the President’s ideal and the ideals’ of others. 

The 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act sounds like a law to protect gun owners but the law ban the sale machine gun made after May of 1986 to individuals.  The law also changed the rules around the inspection of gun stores.  Any argument against this act would appear to be an argument not to protect firearm owners.   Then there is the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act which requires background checks on all firearm not just handguns purchases thru a licensed dealer.  This was a restriction of the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution but once again any argument against the act would appear to be one that supported handgun violence. 

 An additional example of how labeling is used is the “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” which is the current name for the food stamp program.  This program gives money to individual to purchase prepackaged edible foods but does not require the food to have any given nutrition valve.  Therefore this program can be used to purchase thing like soft drinks and junk food.  To top it off this program is funded by the “Food, Conservation, and Energy Act” which is then called the “farm bill”.  If an individual tried to add requirement that any food purchased under the aforementioned program have some degree of nutritional value than then the opposing side could claim that this individual do not support the farm bill this  would sound like the individual did not support American Farmers.

In the end one has to assume that any word spoken or written by a person involved with politics was choosing to paint the picture that person wanted painted.  A reporter may try not to “spin” the news that is covered but the simple act of choosing which part of news to cover can have an effect on what the picture of the world looks like.  


The Rise and Fall of Paula Deen – the power of words then and now.

Who doesn’t love some good ole down home cookin’? To most of us Paula Deen in not an unfamiliar name. We’ve all heard that sweet southern mama in our TV’s sharing her secrets to her delicious food. Just recently the southern bell fell from her grace. One word a long time ago caused this women who was arguably one of the most well know TV chef to lose her empire she worked so long to build.
Being born and raised in the south during a time with segregation, the “N” word was not such a big deal. The power of words back then did not carry the same weight they do today. The “N” word said today by someone with such high notoriety would be ground shaking, 60 years ago, that was not the case.
Slang changes with time just as fads and fashion. In the early to mid-1900’s the words that were considered to be slang are now considered to be offensive terms used to degrade people of different backgrounds. Words have always had a tremendous power. Context and perception dictate what kind of power a word does or does not have.
When it comes to words that are offensive they have changed dramatically over time. These changes happen as peoples societal positions change. In the mid 1900’s where Paula Deen had been brought up African Americans were not considered equal in the eye of society, especially in the south. Referring to someone as an “N” word would be the same as today saying someone was “black”. It may not be politically correct but it was not necessarily offensive.
Today that is not the case. People have realized that all colors, races, religions are equal and we pride ourselves on being a free and equal opportunity nation. Everyone being equal and having these rights has caused a hypersensitivity to language.
There is such a diverse culture today that it is hard to tell what may or may not offend someone of a specific color, nationality, religion, or background. The nation has evolved and there are some definite words that are known to not be acceptable such as the “n” word, but there are many that are in a grey area.
Paula Deen has apologized and said many times that she thinks everyone is equal. This for many is not enough, in today’s society people find words to be extremely powerful. We as a new generation must realize that words can, and many times will come back and haunt you.
So for you Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram addicts remember you may not have a fortune to loose and Paula Deen did, but people are watching, so choose your words wisely!