• Question: When you say to help the public to be better their understanding of science what do you mean?

    Asked by pablo2007 to Emily on 14 Nov 2019.
    • Photo: Emily Mattacola

      Emily Mattacola answered on 14 Nov 2019:

      As scientists, we’re quite bad as a group at communicating our findings. We tend to be really good at talking to each other, and really bad at talking to the general public! That’s a bad thing, as it means that the benefits from our findings are being limited, as only other scientists are hearing about it. There’s also the problem of the media, as a lot of the time when the media reports of science findings they’re over-exaggerated or sometimes, completely inaccurate! John Oliver did a really great video with some examples of this; https://www.vox.com/2016/5/9/11638808/john-oliver-science-studies-last-week-tonight

      That means that a lot of the general public’s understanding of science can be poor, either because they’ve not heard about what scientists are up to because we’ve not told them, or because they’ve heard inaccurate information about science from the media. Additionally, lots of people won’t have done science since school, so that also means that they’ll have forgotten a lot of stuff or the information they know could be out of date. By engaging in better science communication with the general public, we can make sure people are informed about what we’re doing in our research so that people can benefit from our findings.