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    Karen McKee said:

    Scientists of the future will increasingly need skills in communication and multimedia to provide rich content (video, animations, interactive graphics) to accompany journal articles, as scientific electronic publishing expands to support such media and readers come to expect it and as more funding agencies require proposers to show the “broader impacts” of their work (e.g., the NSF in the U.S.). Multimedia skills and outlets such as science blogs also help young scientists build a strong online profile and show off their communication abilities to potential employers, in addition to their science accomplishments. As competition for science jobs, research funding, and space in journals increases, those students and young scientists with such skills will have an edge over their peers.

    However, I find that few science curricula offer courses that teach these skills, at least those I’m associated with do not (but are at least talking about it). Colleagues (of my generation) seem completely unaware of how electronic publishing is changing appetites and expectations for how science information, both technical and nontechnical, is communicated. They are consequently not pushing their students to keep up with emerging communication technologies.

    Students may not take this change seriously until such skills are required for jobs, professors recognize the need (and encourage students in this regard), and schools provide the necessary training.

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