He’s a NASA legend, acclaimed songwriter and science marketing guru

If it’s a tough time to be a scientist, maybe that’s more than just a branding issue. Nonetheless, scientists would probably be unwise to ignore thoughtful advice about presentation from someone highly regarded in both the arts and sciences

Here’s an extract from the publisher’s information on Kuchner’s book:

Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine in Tough Times

It’s a tough time to be a scientist: universities are shutting science departments, funding organisations are facing flat budgets, and many newspapers have dropped their science sections altogether.

This guy’s music site blew me away

Not because of its design, which is pretty modest, but because it offers such wonderfully (characteristically?) alien kinds of music stuff.

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised, but instead of just restricting itself to the usual assortment of recording and performance info you’d expect to find on a typical musical artist’s website, you find an amazing system for analysing your musical archetype.

He even offers a unique service to songwriters and publishers who are invited to submit material so that he can analyze the archetype of the song and use the anaysis to offer suggestions about the kinds of  artists to pitch it to and how to “focus the archetypical content for maximum impact”.

Far out!

His musical career began when his song “I Can Break My Own Heart” was highly placed in John Lennon’s annual song writing contest and he has been winning awards ever since.

But according to Marc Kuchner, this anti-science climate doesn’t have to equal a career death knell – it just means scientists have to be savvier about promoting their work and themselves.

In ‘Marketing for Scientists’, he provides clear, detailed advice about how to land a good job, win funding, and shape the public debate.

As an astrophysicist at NASA, Kuchner knows that ‘marketing’ can seem like a superficial distraction, whether your daily work is searching for new planets or seeking a cure for cancer.

In fact, he argues, it’s a critical component of the modern scientific endeavour, not only advancing personal careers but also society’s knowledge. Kuchner approaches marketing as a science in itself.

He translates theories about human interaction and sense of self into methods for building relationships – one of the most critical skills in any profession.

And he explains how to brand yourself effectively – how to get articles published, give compelling presentations, use social media like Facebook and Twitter, and impress potential employers and funders.

Here’s a bit of background on Kuchner from Wikipedia:

Marc Kuchner (born August 7, 1972) is an American astrophysicist, a staff member at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Together with Wesley Traub, he invented the band-limited coronagraph, a design for the proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder telescope, also to be used on the James Webb Space Telescope.

He helped popularize the ideas of ocean planetscarbon planets, and Helium planets and made some of the first observations of a debris disk orbiting G29-38, a metal-rich White Dwarf.

Kuchner received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Harvard in 1994 and his Ph.D. in astronomy from Caltech in 2000. Kuchner was awarded the 2009 SPIE early career achievement award for his work on coronagraphy.

Kuchner appears as an expert commentator in the emmy nominated National Geographic television show “Alien Earths” and frequently answers the “Ask Astro” questions in Astronomy Magazine.

Here he is talking on TV about alien planets: