Do you think science is exciting? Useful? Accessible? If your immediate answer to any of these questions was “no” – or even a “um ..?” – it may be because scientists aren’t always good at communicating their work. Scientific discoveries have transformed how people live on this planet. Think of science’s role in technology, health, transport, entertainment. Science predicted the exact ‘Path of Totality in this August’s solar eclipse and eradicated polio.
But science is not the only way of understanding the world. People make sense of their experiences and take decisions based on emotion, culture, social influence, habit, and many other things. Scientific evidence isn’t always part of the mix.
Here at Mind the Gap, we work with diverse groups working on various social and environmental challenges in many countries. This requires the ability to speak across differences and meet people where they’re at – see things from their point of view. At the end of September, Megan Jones attended a ComSciCon conference to train science postgraduate students in communicating science to non-scientists. Many of the key points discussed are echoed in Mind the Gap’s work – for instance the importance of listening, building trust, empowering others, being creative, and being authentic. It was inspiring to see so many people committed to making science more exciting, useful and accessible – and working to achieve these changes together.
If you’re interested in learning more about communicating science or in sharing your ideas on the topic, reach out to Megan at megan[at]mind-the-gap.net.