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communities

Let's Have A Conversation About Science

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Let's Have A Conversation About Science

Some days the job of a science communicator seems downright impossible. How can we continue to grow a love for science when there's so much...well, lack of love for science? Especially when this lack of enthusiasm manifests in so many different and troubling ways.

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Popular

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Popular

The phrase “popular science” has a benign enough definition: explaining science to the general public.

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Disengaged

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Disengaged

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.

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Dumb Science

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Dumb Science

First off, the very act of using natural language to describe scientific concepts can be considered "dumbing down".

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An Intrinsic Good

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An Intrinsic Good

But we often hear the narrative that STEM literacy is declining, and that our mission is to fight that decline lest the general public becomes ignorant and afraid of the world around them. But here are three questions in response to that claim: 1) Can you actually reliably measure STEM "literacy"?, 2) Is it really declining?, and 3) Is that the true motivation of our mission?

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Lose It

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Lose It

So what to do? Well in the words of famed English novelist and critic George Orwell, "the quickest way of ending a war is to lose it."

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Is the March for Science a good idea? Part 1: Sure!

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Is the March for Science a good idea? Part 1: Sure!

But not all scientists and members of the scientific community joined in the efforts. The March's slogan was "out of the labs and into the streets," but many scientists chose to stay in their labs. In this two-part series I'll weigh the pros and cons of the effort, starting with the pros.

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Stop, Collaborate, and Listen

There are many features of the scientific enterprise that we can incorporate into our everyday lives. These are all well and good, and with a properly trained mind can be wielded to great effect. But there's one more feature of science that has only emerged in relatively recent times: the rise of the collaboration.

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Blissful Ignorance

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Blissful Ignorance

In a perfect world we would just open up the doors, let folks filter in to take their seats, and start talking about science. They would listen, agree that it's pretty awesome, and go home to tell their friends and family what they just learned.

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The Not Very Mad Scientist

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The Not Very Mad Scientist

But how many times do scientists not actually mind the stereotype, and even actively work to encourage it? I've met more than one scientist who deliberately puts on an air of aloofness, who has judged society to never be able to understand their work, or who thumbs their nose at social conventions because they're too important.

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Good Enough Isn't

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Good Enough Isn't

If a single person walks away from an educational moment not understanding the concept, we have to assume that it's entirely our fault.

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