Dr. Nadkarni is deeply committed to public engagement with science. In 1994, she co-founded the International Canopy Network, a non-profit organization that fosters communication among researchers, educators, and conservationists concerned with forest canopies.
“Part of the scientific enterprise is to disseminate the results of research to other scientists as well as to people outside of academia. However, scientists often receive little training or reward for presenting their results to non-scientists. When they do, most scientists tend to disseminate their information to ‘environmentally aware’ non-scientists via the media or traditional informal science education institutions such as museums and botanical gardens, which are less frequently visited by non-traditional audiences. In 2001, I received a Guggenheim Fellowship to explore the obstacles that scientists face in disseminating their research to non-scientific audiences. My approach was to directly link my research and conservation messages about forest canopies with activities and objects valued by non-traditional audiences. I have designed and implemented projects to raise awareness and inspire these audiences to learn and care more about science, trees, and nature in general.”
She has given two TED talks, and over 25 endowed lectures around the world.
Her work has been featured in Natural History, Glamour, Playboy, and others, and she has appeared in many television documentaries, including Bill Nye the Science Guy, Good Morning, America, National Geographic, and CNN’s The Next List.