Scientists are Challenged When Communicating Science to the Public

             

Only a select few enter into the fields of science and technology, yet advancements here affect everything from medicine to communication to transportation. In order to keep important research well funded and the public informed of the most recent advancements, scientists must overcome the challenges of communicating science to the public. Here are some of the challenges they face and ways to combat them.
The media doesn’t communicate scientific findings well
A survey of 2,000 journalists and editors and 2,000 scientists showed that both lack confidence in the media’s understanding of scientific studies. This lack of understanding translates into inadequate reporting of scientific findings that are useful for lay readers. 

For instance, journalists tend to look for sensational results, when the reality is that science usually advances gradually. If the curriculum for science reporters included science, engineering, and math as well as communications, English, and liberal arts, their ability to communicate scientific findings would probably improve.

Some public scientists are scorned by colleagues
Carl Sagan, one of the public’s most beloved scientists, could easily explain technical material simply, but some of his colleagues scorned him for the time he spent in the public eye. To combat the notion that public visibility is negative, scientists need to change their own culture.

Scientists feel unable to effectively communicate with the public
Colleges and universities don’t spend as much time as they should teaching science majors effective communication skills , such as how to present an article outlining a scientific discovery in lay terms or how to create charts and graphs to present new knowledge.

While some scientists still believe that communicating directly to the public is a waste of time, a vast majority say they're willing to learn how to explain their work more clearly to the general population.

If you want to teach the scientists on your team more about communicating science to the public, Hurley Write, Inc. is the source you need to train your employees in the art of scientific writing and communication.

Image Source: iStock.com/ shironosov
 
 
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