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Scientists, Stop Thinking Explaining Science Will Fix Things. It Won't.

Communicating about Science

Strategy and rhetorician skills need to be deployed, as merely lecturing like a university professor isn't going to do any good: 

  • Simply explaining science does not tell the audience why it matters to them, and doesn't 'hard sell' the purpose or the motivation of the right information.
  • Communicating science without first gaining the audience's trust is bound to be a vain exercise.
  • Trying to debunk a myth by repeating it and saying it's false, doesn't do any good, as the audience ends up remembering the myth only. A better way is to reframe the issue.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Scientists, Stop Thinking Explaining Science Will Fix Things. It Won't.

Scientists, Stop Thinking Explaining Science Will Fix Things. It Won't.

https://slate.com/technology/2017/04/explaining-science-wont-fix-information-illiteracy.html

slate.com

3

Key Ideas

Explaining Science

There is a lot of misinformation about scientific knowledge among the general public. Scientists assume that by explaining science to people they can inform the defend science from public misinformation.

Ironically, the science communication part is having the opposite effect of what scientists are trying to achieve, something known as the 'backfire effect'.

Science Literacy

Studies prove that merely increasing science literacy straightforwardly is not going to change mindsets. Simply knowing more and lecturing about it is not going to convince the audience.

Scientists should consider how they are deploying knowledge. Facts aren't enough, and they need to tap into the emotions of the audience for fruitful interaction.

Communicating about Science

Strategy and rhetorician skills need to be deployed, as merely lecturing like a university professor isn't going to do any good: 

  • Simply explaining science does not tell the audience why it matters to them, and doesn't 'hard sell' the purpose or the motivation of the right information.
  • Communicating science without first gaining the audience's trust is bound to be a vain exercise.
  • Trying to debunk a myth by repeating it and saying it's false, doesn't do any good, as the audience ends up remembering the myth only. A better way is to reframe the issue.

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