So what does it mean for a scientist or science communicator to have a mission when it comes to the public?
It should be easy to trust science. It's simple, direct, powerful, and has delivered amazing results decade after decade. So why don't many people trust science?
What do you do when a skeptic or fanatic tosses out a dozen arguments at once? Focus on just one.
Bad science headlines usually involve some use of obviously over-the-top exaggerations, easily-refuted statements, and bold exclamations. Sometimes it’s even all three wrapped up in one.
Is it better to tear down junk science, or leave it be?
What hidden dangers lurk behind even the simplest assumptions?
Go ahead, stand up for what you believe. On one condition: show respect yourself.
Here's a warning, from me to you: don't look to science for cheap validation, ever, because it will end up breaking your heart.
Here's my advice, as a scientist and science communicator, on how to handle a flat-Earther: don't.
It looks us almost a hundred years to finally convince ourselves that atoms existed. Be patient.
It's simple. You want people to learn about science? Start sharing.
We need systems and expectations in place that filter out bad science from becoming public.
Sometimes you encounter people who believe differently than you do. I know, crazy, but let's explore the hypothetical scenario just in case it were to happen.
We’re taught that science is split between theory and experiment. This is…incomplete.
Peer review is an absolutely essential tool to the scientific machine, but it's also a human enterprise. It has flaws.
The phrase “popular science” has a benign enough definition: explaining science to the general public.
There’s a certain liberation in being able to constantly update your beliefs based on the evidence.
But we are not competing in the marketplace of commerce. We're competing in the marketplace of ideas.
So where do sensationalistic science headlines start? They start with the scientists themselves.
There are of course a few challenges to public outreach from the perspective of a scientist: difficulty in translating the jargon, fear of saying something inaccurate, discomfort in presenting to large crowds, and so on.