Science communication advice and opinions from Scientia
Effective science communication is now recognised as an important component of science itself, warranting its own consideration. Many research projects, especially those attracting public funding, now have a dedicated communication strategy for disseminating their findings and engaging with the public. This has an important purpose beyond any individual message – bridging the gap to the public helps to prevent mistrust of scientists.
SciComm Corner – The importance of disseminating reliable psychology and neuroscience information during the COVID-19 pandemic
Countless individuals worldwide are currently facing consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, whether these are economic, social, practical or related to their physical and mental wellbeing. In this time marked by uncertainty, confusion and isolation, many people can find themselves feeling stressed, anxious, hopeless, or overwhelmed.
Since the discovery of the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 in December 2019, science has taken the centre stage of everyone’s lives. Virologists, epidemiologists, and other health scientists have become daily features in the media, while politicians and the public are turning to science to answer important questions. Scientists have rallied to answer these questions in a race against the clock, where every day of inaction means a matter of life and death for potentially thousands of families.
SciComm Corner – Striking the balance between severity and optimism when communicating climate change
As the main characters go about their everyday lives, a science reporter appears on a news feed in the background, their voice barely perceptible above the casual chatter that we are focused on. In a grave and slightly exasperated tone, they give the observant viewer the raw facts about whichever asteroid, outbreak, or tectonic reshuffling is about to finish off civilisation as we know it. Infuriatingly, the characters in the film don’t seem to be paying them even the slightest attention. It makes us want to shout at the screen, desperately willing them to notice the real problem at hand.
Science communication has taken significant strides outside the official efforts of space missions themselves. Through access to press releases and online journals, and the ability to easily interact with researchers, journalists from a wide range of publications are now able to engage a large sector of the public through a diverse range of different ways, including the in-depth articles you can read in Scientia.
Breaking down the barriers between scientists and the public is becoming increasingly important. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, it is more apparent than ever how important accessible and accurate scientific information is to society. Because these global problems often require scientific solutions, such as the development of new vaccines, the public should have the opportunity to engage if they choose to.
ABOUT SCICOMM CORNER
As well as bringing you the latest science through our publication, we also like to share our opinions and insights about the world of science communication. Here we provide practical guidance for scientists and science communicators who desire to communicate science to a broader audience in an effective and engaging manner.
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