Clear and accessible science communication is essential to bring research advances closer to the general public and to foster understanding and interest in science. In this blog, we will explore the importance of effective communication in science and how it can improve the dissemination of research results.
According to a study by Nature, only a small fraction of scientific articles are read beyond the academic circle. This is often because these documents are written in complex technical language that is inaccessible to the general public.
Importantly, good communication not only improves public understanding of research results, but also increases their impact in other fields. Effective outreach can help establish collaborations between researchers or even inspire new ideas and discoveries.
Therefore, it is vital to work towards better science communication by simplifying the language used in technical publications and making sure to use appropriate media to reach the intended audience (e.g. social media).
This objective is part of the work of the OLIGOFASTX consortium: to communicate not only to the scientific community but also to the general public the importance of research and development in oligonucleotides for the improvement of the quality of life of patients affected by pathologies classified as rare diseases.
In the professional field, one of the main ways for the research community to publicise their work is the publication of scientific articles, which describe research and its results in scientific journals. These articles, which are published in journals of varying prestige, are reviewed and evaluated by other researchers before being published, a process known as ‘peer review’ or ‘peer review‘. This is one of the characteristics of the scientific method, a professional consensus that also requires the results of research to be reproducible in order to be considered valid.
Once published in scientific journals, the research community must pay fees to access scientific articles. In recent decades, ‘Open Access‘, a movement that promotes free and unrestricted access to and re-use of information produced by researchers. This concept seeks to change the established model, where the research community does not always have easy and free access to the work of their colleagues.
In this respect, the existence of repositories of so-called ‘preprints’ – scientific articles that have not yet been reviewed and published in a scientific journal – is another factor in the science dissemination equation.
Another way of communicating science among scientists themselves is through congresses and meetings, where each speciality brings together its scientists to present research results, discuss the latest advances in their field and debate current issues. Moreover, with the covid-19 pandemic, virtual alternatives began to emerge and are still in use today.
On the other hand, social networks and all the options provided by the Internet (scientific forums, blogs…) are other channels currently used by scientists to publicise their work; these tools have also been in the spotlight in recent months.
When it comes to the dissemination of science to society, the media play a crucial role. Both specialised science media and general media with specific sections on science have a responsibility to report accurately and truthfully on scientific developments and debates to society. The coronavirus crisis has increased interest in science, leading to more space and time devoted to the issue in the media.
Science popularisation has also gained importance in recent years. Many scientists and science experts devote part of their time and work to explaining their research to the public, using a variety of methods that, although they have similarities with communication and journalism, also have their own rules and dynamics.
Creativity and efficiency
Science communication is a key issue in today’s world, where information is at our fingertips. However, the fact that information is accessible does not mean that it is easy to understand.
Science communication has the challenge of translating technical and complex language into a language accessible to the general public.
In this sense, creativity and effectiveness are key elements for successful science communication. Creativity allows for innovative ways of presenting information, while effectiveness ensures that the message reaches the receiver clearly and accurately.
The combination of both elements can lead to surprising results, such as the popularisation of complex topics and the generation of interest in science by society. In short, communicating science creatively and effectively is a challenge that involves constant work to ensure that scientific knowledge reaches a wide and diverse audience.
In short, creativity in science popularisation is not only important to attract new audiences, but also to make science accessible and understandable to all.
The responsibility of the science communicator for the accuracy and truthfulness of the information conveyed.
Science communication is a complex task that requires a great deal of responsibility on the part of the science communicator. Accuracy and veracity of the information transmitted are essential to avoid confusion and misinterpretation by the receiving public.
In this sense, it is important for the science communicator to have a thorough knowledge of the topic he or she is dealing with and to make sure that he or she is using reliable and up-to-date sources.
In addition, the disseminator needs to be able to convey information in a clear and accessible way to the general public, without falling into oversimplifications or incomprehensible technicalities.
On the other hand, it is important that the science communicator takes into account the social and cultural context in which the information is being transmitted, in order to avoid prejudices or misunderstandings.
In conclusion, science communication is fundamental for society, as it makes scientific knowledge accessible and understandable to all. However, scientific communication can be challenging due to the complexity of the topics and the technical terminology used.
To overcome this obstacle, a creative and effective approach to science communication is needed. This involves using innovative methods such as data visualisation, storytelling and the creation of engaging multimedia content.
In addition, it is essential that science communicators understand their audience and adapt their language and communication style accordingly. Ultimately, effective science communication can help increase public awareness of scientific findings and promote greater understanding of the scientific and technological challenges we face today.
This is precisely the work we carry out every day at OLIGOFASTX, trying to convey complex concepts in a simple way to the general public through our social networks and this blog. We invite you to become part of our community and become an active part of the dissemination of our field of action:
Image 1: https://observatorio.tec.mx/edu-news/divulgacion/
Image 2: https://www.comecso.com/observatorio/divulgacion-sociologia-conocimiento-social
These sources provide relevant and up-to-date information on scientific developments and their implications. Moreover, they are written by experts in the field, which guarantees their quality and reliability.
- Science Daily (https://www.sciencedaily.com/)
- EurekAlert! (https://www.eurekalert.org/)
- Nature (https://www.nature.com/)
- Science (https://www.sciencemag.org/)
- Plos One (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/)
- Cell (https://www.cell.com/)
- Journal of the American Medical Association (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama)
- The Lancet (https://www.thelancet.com/)
- National Geographic (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/)
- Scientific American (https://www.scientificamerican.com/)