This is the story of why we should all care and be careful about science communication. A visual summary of my latest
#scicomm talk, including ivory towers, sleeping beauties and digital wildfires:
To understand science communication, we have to understand the core of science – our methods: the whole mechanistics of our striving to question, evaluate and create new knowledge.
Science is a process and as such, science communication should entail an understanding of all of our methods and not merely represent single results (Bultitude (2011) Science Communication – Why and How? Burns et al., (2003). Science communication: A contemporary definition).
Science publications are 1 form of science communication with clear, rigid, (ideally) replicable structure. They can be read at several levels & allow comparability. However, they are almost exclusively read by scientists. Other options: traditional media, outreach, social media…
…but really, there are no boundaries for creativity & options for engagement if you want to provide towards science communication: E.g., Frontiers for Young Minds, Skype a Scientist, TED talks, Cartoon (ERcComics), Comedy, Songs, TV, Dance your PhD, etc.
Why should you care about science communication? There are plentiful utilitarian, economic, cultural and democratic arguments for all of us. But also, personal gains – especially important for younger scientists too (contents adapted from Bultitude 2010 and Osborne (2000)).
Different personal risks have been named, and incentives are lacking. But is this really an excuse for not engaging in science communication and outreach…?
…is this reason for us to continue barricading ourselves in ivory towers and do we need/afford to create more sleeping beauties?
(Jennifer Byrnes: https://theconversation.com/once-upon-a-time-sleeping-beauties-and-the-importance-of-storytelling-in-science-102497 … Shapin (2012). The Ivory Tower: the history of a figure of speech and its cultural uses.)
Science is present in everyday life. We should all care & be careful about science communication in order to reach a science-informed community & research that impacts policies. PIs: value time students invest in scicomm, be a role model, support
#openscience & do share & show.