Monday, July 10, 2017: Today professional science communicators are meeting in Sheffield to share experiences and develop their craft. My good friend Peter Broks has set the cat among the pigeons by posing the question “Has science communication failed?”

I would put it more strongly. Science communication HAS failed. In fact, this is the implicit theme behind a lunchtime session that Peter is organizing on “Science communication: What is to be done?”

Unfortunately I can’t be there, but part of the discussion will be via Twitter. Here is my contribution:

  1. As a practising #scientist as well as a #scicommer, my aim is to share what science is really about, and make it part of our culture.
  2. The general ignorance and lack of appreciation of #science in the community shows that #scicomm is not achieving this aim.
  3. This may be because #scicomm has developed into a stand-alone activity that does not represent science as it is practised.
  4. This does not mean that #scicomm as currently practised is wrong; just that it is unbalanced.
  5. #scicomm is currently like a fiddler crab, with one large claw, focusing on “excitement” and “fun”.
  6. A very important point is that the “fun” in real science is the fun of CATCHING ON. This needs more emphasis.
  7. My own approach through books, articles & broadcasts is to share how #scientists THINK about problems. I believe we need more of this. cf
  8. However we go about it, #scicomm certainly needs to evolve to more fully help to make #science part of our culture.
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