Science for the masses
12 subatomic stories: what scientists know about neutrino
Many scientists accomplish incredible feats and then write about them in a way that only a few other experts understand. How do you communicate a convincing scientific tale to a wider audience, such as policymakers and the general public?
We’ll look at an excellent piece of popular science writing as well as workshop pieces written by students in this class. We’ll also go over story placement strategies for newspapers, magazines, and blogs.
You’ll have the option of reading one short piece of science writing and drafting your own before class. Gabe, the mentor, will provide written feedback and will lead a discussion of writing strategies based on these drafts (anonymously and only with your permission).
Working scientists, beginning science authors, those transitioning from careers as research scientists to skilled science writers, and writers who concentrate on other fields but have an interest in science are all welcome to enroll in this class.
Computer america – science for the masses; brio
Troy Hibbard, a biotechnologist, provided us with a wealth of advice on how to write an article for an academic journal in the most recent issue of Lab Times. Now he turns his attention to a second, though no less significant, problem in the life of a modern scientist or aspiring science writer: how to communicate one’s findings to a non-scientific audience.
My boss put me in an atmosphere where I could work alongside biologists, chemists, physicists, and engineers when I was a graduate student many years ago. As exciting as it was to learn from such a diverse group of scientists, communication was always an issue.
Every scientific field has its own lingo. Methods for bridging the gaps between technological linguistics have had their ups and downs over the centuries. It is much more difficult for a scientist to discuss the latest developments and hypotheses with non-scientists than it is for scientists to interact with each other. How do we express the knowledge in a manner that is accessible to all, given that scientific advancement allows us to unravel a portion of our complex life by its very nature? In this post, I explore what I’ve learned in my search to effectively communicate the most recent discoveries to non-scientific audiences.
Kid science – density, volume & mass
Biohacking is a small but burgeoning phenomenon among experienced and amateur scientists who are taking experimentation into their own hands. In a small town in southern California, an unlikely pair has become roommates and labmates, encapsulating the trend. Gabriel and Jeff have converted their off-the-grid home into an environmentally friendly biology lab, where they are working on inventions such as infrared contact lenses. Science for the Masses delves into the motivations of these two inquisitive individuals as they defy conventional academic and business models of science by exploring for the sake of experimenting and sharing what they learn.
Soapbox science: bringing science to the masses | nathalie
This story is available in PDF format.
The concept of mass – with jim baggott
Scientists want to be left alone to do their studies, and society wants to see a return on its investment, so research funding agencies are constantly balancing two conflicting forces.
Over the last decade, the European Commission, for example, has attempted to strike the balance by considering social consequences while assessing initiatives under its numerous research Framework programs. Last year, the Higher Education Funding Council for England announced that, beginning in 2013, research will be judged in part on its demonstrable economic, social, or cultural benefits.
No government, however, has gone as far as the US National Science Foundation (NSF), which will not even accept a plan unless it requires specific activities to show the project’s ‘broader impacts’ on science or society as a whole. According to Arden Bement, director of the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Virginia, “the criterion was created to get scientists out of their ivory towers and bind them to society.”