The importance of connecting science and society

Mar 20, 2020 | Blog

As you probably already know, academics are becoming increasingly aware of their responsibility to communicate more broadly, especially to the public.

Moreover, given the significant change in the way information is disseminated and accessed, people want more from researchers, academic institutions, and industry than ever before. As a result, the topic of science communication is a growing area of interest.

It is now widely accepted that broader science communication is a fundamental aspect of a scientist’s career. While many do recognise this, it can be a challenge to do it effectively. 

A large number of academics are actively being encouraged by their institute or funding agency to engage and showcase their work beyond their own niche communities and traditional publishing channels, especially when it comes to taxpayer-funded research.

Quoting REF2021: “Scientists must provide accountability for public investment in research and produce evidence of the benefits of this investment.”

Quoting the NSF: “Broader Impacts: The potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.”

Quoting the WHO: “knowledge translation is the synthesis, exchange, and application of knowledge by relevant stakeholders to accelerate the benefits of global and local innovation in strengthening health systems and improving people’s health.”

At Scientia we think it’s vital to support traditional scholarly publishing and transform science into something enjoyable, understandable and impactful that everyone has a chance to be involved with.

If you are reading this publication, you likely appreciate the need for effective public science communication. Nevertheless, here is a brief run-down of why we feel science communication is important:

• Good public sci-comm helps people make informed decisions and motivates them to take appropriate and affirmative action.

• Good public sci-comm encourages everyday people to be scientifically literate so that they can analyse the integrity and legitimacy of information.

• Good public sci-comm encourages people into STEM-related fields of study and employment, especially women and members of minority groups.

• Good public sci-comm fosters a community around research that includes both members of the public, policymakers and scientists.

Our mission is to connect science and society, which in turn creates innovation. We provide a tangible channel to profile the real-world impact and importance of scholarly research and university-driven innovation. We do this by enabling organisations (including universities, funding bodies, NGOs, publishers and scholarly societies), alongside individual researchers, to share, disseminate and promote their scientific and societal endeavours to a broader and more diverse audience than traditional publication outlets can readily provide. We are not here to change or challenge the traditional scholarly publishing format, but instead we aim to complement this accepted form of dissemination and help enhance communication and impact.

Visit our library to read some fascinating science:  www.scientia.global/issues/ 

 

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