One of the most difficult parts of science communication is understanding what your audience knows and doesn’t know going in. Mark Justice Hinton recently steered me to a great blog that solves that problem with extraordinary grace. It’s Gambler’s House, a blog about Chaco Canyon, written by Teofilo, a seasonal employee at the park.
Teofilo knows a great deal about Chaco. In addition to that knowledge, by virtue of working there with the public, Teofilo’s work is informed by the things people know and don’t know when they visit the park, the questions they ask, the skepticisms they express, the things they want to know. An example, from a great piece about water at Chaco:
Looking at the remains of the great houses in the canyon today, it’s hardly a surprise that many of the most common questions visitors ask are about water. Where did they get it? How did they store it? Was it wetter then than it is now?
It’s a terrific blog for a lot of reasons. The incredible insight born of listening to people’s questions is one big one.
(picture of Pueblo Bonito courtesy National Park Service)