Why Scientists Should be Science Communicators; or, Having your Cake and Eating it Too

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If we abandon (for the moment) the greater good one might do for society by helping the general public (and the media) become more science-literate,  what’s in it for scientists who opt to devote some of their scarce “free time” to blogging, giving interviews, and tweeting – let alone participating in panels to share insights on all of the above?

scicomm panel

SciComm panel participants at Spot On London, Nov/2013: Moderator Richard Johnston with Brian Wecht (The Story Collider), Suzi Gage (University of Bristol), Michelle Oyen (Cambridge University)

This storify, created  by Dr Rich Johnston – a scientist who blogs – provides an excellent  recap of a Spot On London 13 session exploring this question in depth: why, and how best, should scientists communicate about their work to a larger audience? In this session “larger” is taken to mean outside one’s discipline and/or outside  the scientific community to media, policymakers, funders, and the general public.

From the perspective of this attendee (who missed more than a few points since she was live tweeting the proceedings), Rich makes the most of the Storify tool by adding his own running commentary to participant tweets – from the live audience in London and those watching the live stream worldwide – documenting this highly interactive session. Our thanks to @DrRichJohnston, a senior lecturer in the Materials Research Centre, Swansea University and a British Science Association Media Fellow (based at Nature) who offers his own bits of science communication at The Johnston Lab blog, which can be found here.

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