GOOD SCIENCE is more important than ever, but it is not enough.
Scientists are very good at taking simple things and making sense of them. This means voyaging into the minutiae, hypotheses, data sets, acronyms, numeric codes, cohorts and qualified conclusions.
The sciences have methods, languages and conventions. There is nuance, knowledge and activity that can be complex. The results of scientific research can be challenging to explain, and even more difficult for everyday people to understand. And communicating information is not as simple as it may seem.
Engaging people in meaningful conversations
Science is something all people have a stake in, but not all people are interested in ‘science’.
To talk about science well, involves finding ways to engage people in meaningful conversations. Ideas, information and messages are best received when they resonate with people personally. For this to happen, we need to use symbols, language and imagery which connects with the people we are talking to.
This is as much about identity, emotion and values at a personal level as it is about rigour, veracity and reliability at a scientific level.
The creation of meaningful conversations begins with empathy and proceeds by framing and presenting issues in a manner that respects and appeals to an audience’s interests and sensibilities. These are sustained by listening, learning and sharing – all of which digital assets and social media now makes possible in ways previously unimaginable.