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Abstract Detail

The Importance of Communicating Science

Verdolin, Jennifer [1].

Why Does it Matter?: Communicating Science to Make it Relevant.

In early 2015 the Pew Research Center released polling results revealing that scientific literacy has not increased and there is an ever-widening gap of understanding between scientists and the general American public on fundamental scientific issues. An American public that lacks a strong grasp of science has obvious implications for individual, social, and policy-level decision-making on matters such as public health, disease risk, and global sustainability. Paradoxically, as scientific literacy remains low, the most popular articles on the Internet often use scientific information to analyze our own behavior and the behavior of those around us. The public today has greater access to scientific information than ever before and applies this information to their daily lives, yet misconceptions abound. Why is this? One reason may be how we, as scientists, talk about science. Another may be that science is often disseminated and communicated to the broader public via news outlets. To reach the casual science consumer, a fresh approach to communicating science is needed. First, by taking advantage of the changing science communication landscape scientists can begin to take control of how their work is distributed and therefore perceived by public. Second, we must make it relevant to daily life. Linking research to topics salient to individuals in universal ways is one of the most powerful ways to subtly introduce important scientific concepts and change the publics’ understanding of, and interest in, science. Finally, if we do not value and support the efforts of fellow scientists to communicate science in a manner that truly connects with the public at large, scientific illiteracy will remain a pervasive problem.

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1 - Duke university, Biology

science communication
science literacy
science education.

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY01, The importance of communicating science
Location: Chatham Ballroom - B/Savannah International Trade and Convention Center
Date: Monday, August 1st, 2016
Time: 9:15 AM
Number: SY01004
Abstract ID:434
Candidate for Awards:None

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