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Bevan Series 2018: Liz Neeley

March 8, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm


The Bevan Series is a popular annual event held one quarter each year, usually in the format of weekly seminars for 10 weeks, and on occasion as a two-day symposium. The series features internationally recognized experts seeking to examine current issues affecting fisheries and marine conservation, representing as many viewpoints as possible, focusing on solutions to pressing problems. All lectures are free and open to the public.

The Bevan Series is generously funded by the Donald E. Bevan Endowed Fund in Fisheries, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, and Washington Sea Grant. The Bevan Series was founded by Tanya Bevan as a tribute to her late husband, Don Bevan. Don’s academic career spanned almost 50 years at the University of Washington, during which time he was director of the School of Fisheries and dean of the College of Fisheries. His work focused on the key intersection between science, economics and politics, and he was deeply involved in the enactment and reauthorization of the Magnuson Act, which governs America’s marine fisheries. He worked tirelessly to ensure that fisheries managers, industry and scientists spoke with a unified voice in changing federal regulations, and also helped found what is now the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs.

The Bevan Series seeks to continue Don Bevan’s legacy.

The 2018 Bevan Series will be held at the University of Washington in the Fishery Sciences Auditorium (FSH 102) every Thursday afternoon at 4:30 during the Winter academic quarter. The address is 1122 NE Boat Street, Seattle, WA 98105 (map).

Liz Neeley

The Story Collider

Stories and Sense-Making — How Human Minds Fish for Meaning

In the 2018 Bevan series, speakers grapple with the uncertainties and complexities of sustainable fisheries in a changing climate. Although we call it “fisheries management”, it is most frequently the attempt to manage human beliefs and human behaviors. Fortunately, we have rich theoretical and empirical foundations for both conceptualizing and approaching these challenges. We know that data are essential but insufficient on their own. We know that people make sense of the world around them, and make decisions about their actions, through narrative. We know that internalized stories shape policymaking and media frames, as well as influencing technological innovation, market dynamics, and even the interpretation of new biological data. The question is, what will we do with this knowledge? This talk will explore research on storytelling and persuasion, and critically consider how and why busy fisheries biologists might approach adding something like “narrative competency” to their repertoire.

Liz Neeley is the Executive Director of The Story Collider. In live shows across the country, a weekly podcast, and intensive workshops, The Story Collider is dedicated to producing true, personal stories about science. After a decade of work in ocean conservation and science communication, Liz wanted to more deeply explore the performance and substance of narratives. From 2008 to 2015, she worked as the Assistant Director of Science Outreach for COMPASS, and was affiliate staff at The University of Washington during that time. Before that, she worked on locally-managed marine conservation in Fiji and Papua New Guinea, and on international trade policies for deep-sea corals. Her approach to communication is influenced by her graduate research at Boston University on the evolution of visual communication systems in tropical reef fishes. She was on the advisory board of the CommLab at MIT 2015-2017, and is currently sits on the Advisory Council of Ensia magazine, and holds a Lecturer appointment at Yale University. She is a contributing author to Science Blogging: The Essential Guide (2016), Effective Risk Communication (2015), and Escape From the Ivory Tower (2010). Find her on twitter at @LizNeeley.