Puente: Communication as the bridge to the science gap

Chelsea’s blog post for this week and the presentations by Mariah and Kate on “brain porn” all point out that there is a problem in the way scientific findings are presented by both science journals and the media: Science journals present information in an overly complex, jargon-filled, and not reader-friendly manner, while the media takes advantage of pretty brain imaging pictures to attract folks to read inaccurately represented results. All this fuss reminded me of a Ted talk titled “The Science Gap” by Jorge Cham at UCLA. Cham is a roboticist, cartoonist, and the creator of PHD (Piled Higher and Deeper) comics. He explains in his talk about the gap between science and the general public, the misperceptions of the public on science and scientists, and the need to bridge this science gap.

 

All credits go to Jorge Cham
All credits to Jorge Cham

 

Realizing the existence of this science gap makes me really appreciate that Melissa requires us to learn how to write and present scientific findings for a non-science audience. Since scientists put so many hours into their work, don’t they deserve to have their work available to the public and accurately portrayed by the media? If the purpose of scientists is to enrich our understanding of our selves and the world we live in, and hopefully even make improvements, then what is the point of our work if the public does not understand it? The fact that this science gap exists is immensely unfortunate because we heavily rely on science for the betterment of our future. I am glad and feel extremely lucky that I am being taught to communicate my work in a way that aims to amend the science gap.

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