Thanks to the pandemic, more and more people from the general public have seen the importance of science in their everyday lives. People went from not knowing what a pandemic is to becoming epidemiologists overnight — or at least they tried.

Scientific knowledge impacts almost all the areas of our lives, yet most people don’t really understand it. That’s why it is more and more important for science communication to become an essential aspect of academics. They are right now the guardians of vast amounts of knowledge, and most of them lack the ability to communicate science in simpler terms.

This lack of ability comes from the routine of writing scientific knowledge for a knowledgeable scientific audience.

Basically, creating an echo chamber in which everyone already knows what you are talking about — or sort of. However, science communication goes beyond those with a scientific background already and brings this wisdom to the everyday man.

Science communication is for the lay public, for the media and policymakers. Those are the ones that need to understand the science because they are affected by it but don’t need to know it in the same depth as scientists.

As Browns’ University puts it: “Effective science communicators educate non-specialist audiences about scientific topics, issues, and debates in ways that are informative, accessible, and empowering.”

More and more people in academia need to understand the importance of communicating their research and findings to those outside the academic world. After all, the world of science is only meaningful once it can impact the world outside the lab or libraries.

How to become a better science communicator?

First, you need to understand who you will be addressing. This will allow you to choose the level of depth and vocabulary accordingly.

Secondly, you should know why you want them to understand a specific part of science. Why is it necessary for them to know this? Is it just for general knowledge, or do they need to make policies regarding the science?

And lastly, know in which format will you be addressing them. An article, poster, video or presentation? Make the science exciting and appealing for them.

Academics can no longer hide behind books and lab coats; they need to show the rest of the world what they are doing and why it is crucial for everyone, and science communication is the tool to do this.

Published On: March 16, 2021 / Categories: Science Communication /

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