SCI-ART LAB

Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

And how the latter should cooperate                                                                     

 

SCIENCE COMMUNICATION SERIES - PART - 2


Several people complain that scientists speak in  a language they don't understand and they don't make any effort to change themselves to communicate efficiently with the man on the street. Recently during a discussion on a TV news channel here on a science topic, where both scientists and non-scientists participated, several non-scientist panelists said scientists are arrogant. They think they know everything and other people are dumb. This arrogant attitude of scientists should change for  good science communication. True? Well, it depends on your perception. But what are the reasons for such an attitude of scientists?

Many scientists have to defend science against irrational opinions and beliefs.  When a non-expert has an opinion different from an expert in the field, I think the expert has earned a right to be more authoritative. I don't think it is fair to call this arrogance.

The problem is  several of the characteristics of arrogant people are similar to the characteristics of 'learned' people.

Arrogant people believe that they know more than they do, and they will talk as if they are experts. Scientists will also talk like experts, often because they are experts! If you're not an expert yourself it may be tricky to tell them apart.

Arrogant people won't listen to others and don't like to take input or criticism. Scientists will also ignore 'nonsense' from other people, because they understand what they're doing is right and better than the people who are giving them an 'advise'. 

Arrogant people may put others down by correcting them or try to make themselves feel good by making other people feel inferior. Scientists can make other people feel inferior simply by being smarter.

That is the reality! Many smart people cross the fine line between the two, either because they don't realise how they come over there or because they don't care. And in some sense they have a point - if you're right and you know you're right it can be tiresome to deal with someone who clearly doesn't understand something as well as you do, especially if they don't realise it. This is very unfortunate. It's a tough situation to be in.

In my encounters with the non-scientific world, I have seen some people who are really interested in knowledge and genuinely try to understand what I say. These are a pleasure to talk to. However, some others with half knowledge - try to argue, refuse to see the facts and waste my time. The second type of folks make scientists impatient and naturally they get irritated { Read how one scientist reacted when somebody said 'why can't the theory of evolution be wrong?' The scientist said :  PLEASE!!! Stop spreading ignorance with posts like this. It causes people who have very valuable and expensive time to have to stop their work to correct the dangerous ignorance of these mistaken beliefs ( http://www.quora.com/Science/Given-that-its-just-a-theory-why-cant-... )}.

Well, I try to be as patient as possible because I know ordinary world should be treated in a different way from the scientific world. However, I can understand the irritation of the scientist too.  "Why do people ignore science and the knowledge that brings with it? Aren't they deliberately choosing to be ignorant by refusing to come into the world of science and remain in medieval  times? And aren't they trying to spread this ignorance and baseless beliefs to others too?" is what one scientist friend of mine says!

However, sometimes arguments become unavoidable here.

That is the reason why some scientists even refuse to talk and communicate with people outside of their world. Another scientist friend of mine says: ... Unless I know the person, I'm probably not going to want to take the time to explain all the background knowledge I have on a topic I know a lot about. I may not want to take the time to explain confirmation vs. representation biases or the scientific method or the difference between a hypothesis and a theory. Doing so is simply wasting my precious time. And unless people embrace a scientific way of thinking, it's not going to matter, anyway. I have spent a lot of time studying things, they haven't. They should also allot some time to get educated and understand things in the way I do.

There's a story about Einstein emigrating to America and giving a press conference.  One of the reporters asked him to explain the theory of relativity. Einstein asked the reporter to first describe how to bake a cake.  The reporter said "Well first you take some flour..." to which Einstein interjected and said "What's that?".  The reporter explained and carried on "...then you add some baking powder..." and again Einstein interjected "What's that?"  His point was, it's difficult to explain the intricacies of science in a meaningful way without the listener having sufficient background in science in terms of vocabulary and the basics. 

"Truth and facts resist simplicity." - John Green

So who can tell a person who completely closes his/her mind that the problem lies with him/her and not with the scientists?  As it is the minds of the scientists will be in a  'highly excited and stressed state' because of the work their grey matter has to  do. Scientists give more value to their time than others and anybody who tries to waste their time with unnecessary arguments will be treated with impatience. Arrogance? Not really.

When a real estate developer or a celebrity or a politician gives the nation their 'expert opinion'... on medicine, on climate science, on GM products? When they argue a link between autism and vaccines, despite the fact that medical studies have widely shown there is no proven link between the two? Experts might scream and use these words: false, dangerous, damaging, deplorable, repugnant, stupidity!

Highhandedness? No! Not at all! When merely stating a fact makes a person think so, s/he is at fault! Is this an "Assault"? I feel this actually reflects the frustration of  the scientific community!

I think this is a tricky situation. A person who has something valuable wants to share it with the outside world. But s/he doesn't know how to do it and even if s/he knows how to go about it, s/he might not have much time to do it.  And the world just doesn't care! At least  a part of it deliberately chooses not to care because it doesn't know the value of it and even if it knows, the complexity of the whole process of acquiring the scientific knowledge forms a big barrier. A mind block  automatically arises. And it refuses to cooperate. So the expert thinks: 'Why should I care too? I don't want to waste my time on these people. I will be in my world and let them stay in theirs!' Communication is a process that takes lots of time and effort. With the hectic work schedules and limited time frames for other activities the scientists have, it is extremely difficult to 'climb up and down' the ladders of communication so frequently. And that gets tiring, having to slow down all the time, to let others catch up. So sometimes a genius or gifted person will lose patience and race ahead of the other people in the group, because they are just too damn tired of waiting for everyone else to catch up. I don't think it is 'arrogance' that is making scientists use certain words. It is frustration that people don't try to reach 'their levels of understanding things' to make things easier for them is causing this friction. And....the gap between the world of science and the ordinary world  is increasing day by day with these attitudes on both the sides. Who or what is the loser in all this? The world of course!

As a person from the field of science I have a task to perform. I know a few facts. And when people are getting harmed by superstitions,  baseless beliefs and ignorance it is my duty to put facts before these people,  educate them and remove the ways of harm from their paths. It is not imposing my will on them.  If people want to remain in medieval times, it is up to them. But to make people aware of the situation they are living in is my duty as a learned person. And if people want to follow the scientific path, again it is my pleasure to help them.

And Scientists, the idea that a scientist’s job ends at the laboratory door is a dangerous one and communication is an essential aspect of your work for the world to recognize your contribution to the scientific world... for people to use your work as foundation to theirs which might lead to important inventions and discoveries, to use it as citations/quotes frequently. Being a scientist goes far beyond the moment of discovery. Being a scientist means making sure that other people understand what you have found. It benefits your own science. Most of the policy decisions taken these days by the governments around the world are science and technology related. So making people and politicians understand the scientific way of doing things is very essential. If you yourself don't do it, others may spread misinformation about it. Too often, experts speak to only each other, and, worse, disdain colleagues who translate their work for the public as “dumbing down” scientific ideas ( Let me explain first why some scientists think in that way: There are two types of science communication. One is to communicate your work to your colleagues and another one is to communicate to people other than your colleagues. When you compromise on some science while communicating to the latter, making it somewhat 'senseless' in a scientists' view point, they naturally think they are 'dumbing it down'. I have heard several scientists using the words and therefore think when one compares the two levels of communication one tends to think in that way). But the alternative is much dumber: public perception of science based on the opinions of non-experts who are often driven by irredeemable motives. Public science communication is a moral responsibility, outreach through which scientists can help their communities. It is good if you are able to publish your work in Nature or e-Life. But it would be excellent if people get benefited by it and if you are able to save some lives because of your good science communication skills. Every publicly-supported scientist owes the people who pay for science an explanation they can understand. The job isn't done until everybody knows about it. Academics also owe clear exposition to students, who are a public, too. Science is a 'we' subject not an 'I' subject. It impacts the whole world. The excitement of making new discoveries and then seeing its impact on us as a society is so important. The public needs to understand how these discoveries might affect their lives. Science communication should be a responsibility shared by professional communicators and scientists. So take it seriously.

Moreover, it seems a project would get more funds and get approved when it becomes a frequently quoting subject  in the media and talking matter of the public!

Scientists don't deal with all fields like politics, sports, art, and several others at a time like the journalists do. They are specialists, trained for years to become experts, who by necessity speak in a highly specialized language. Only a select few of them have good communication skills and can effectively translate the most complicated ideas into a language everyone else can understand. But still a scientist must try to put things in a way everybody can understand.
Because... "When a stupid person can't understand an average person, the stupid person is blamed, but when an average person can't understand a genius, the genius is blamed!"
So...a scientist is in a disadvantageous position and has to really try hard.

Watch this video where Richard Feynman, an American theoretical physicist, tells the person who is interviewing him he simply cannot answer his question in terms that a layperson can understand. That is the difficulty the scientists face. They really struggle to bridge this huge gap between knowledge and ignorance.

For good communication to take place, Scientists  should first learn how to handle non-scientific people. What’s the biggest mistake a scientist can make when addressing them? According to some:
There are people from the science community who are fairly arrogant ( why can't we use the word 'confidence' instead of arrogance? Arrogance is how your feel about yourself. Confidence is how your present your opinion. There is a difference between these two) in the way in which they approach the others. Like “I’m smarter than you are. I have a Nobel Prize.” Or “I’m the superior person here" and it comes across very, very clearly in a meeting or a discussion. Others might not take it well. He may well be the smartest guy in the panel, but his job at that point is to take the rest of the people who may not be as smart and make them smart enough to be able to make a good judgment.

Well said. But what should scientists do to achieve this? Try to get into the minds of laymen and  see things in the way they do! Then only you will understand why they think in the way they do! Did they get a chance to see facts like you did?  Did they get an opportunity to learn things in the way you did? Their 'knowledge' or 'misconceptions' are derived from the world they live in  which might be completely different from yours! So you need to change their perception by changing their view of the world. To do this try to tell interesting stories while dealing with others to catch their attention.  Tell facts in a simple way ( I am not as fluent in English as the natives are- it is my third language- this, I think, is a boon  while communicating science because I don't use complex words and sentences in my explanations and write-ups - s o people find it easy to understand what I am trying to say- this had been told to me by the people I had interacted with till now!) .  And the stress should be on facts and not the opinion of the scientists on facts. Scientists also should tell how they arrived at concluding the facts, the methods they followed. Use pictures, slides and specimens frequently to demonstrate this.  Use neutral tone - without taking sides while explaining controversial subjects. There should be a genuine interest and attempt   to do this.  People of science should realize that others don't have science orientation like they do and therefore they don't understand the subject deeply like the scientists do. So climbing down a bit by scientists from their pedestals is appreciated by the man on the street! Scientists can make it more difficult for the public or journalists to understand an issue clearly by using only 'their language'. They may speculate casually about the implications of preliminary findings that have not been fully examined. They may use jargon that proves impenetrable to the layperson. Or they may convey information about risks and safety in a way that is open to misunderstanding. All these things could cause mind blocks in laymen. Therefore, stick to the main points. Describing the issue in a clear, non-technical language is the best way to do this. Don't try to lecture people. Just put facts before people in a convincing way and let them think about them and decide which way is good to follow. Leave your audience with a clear understanding, neither exaggerating nor underplaying the topic. Make things exciting. People will try to understand if you come across as a genuine person and listen to you if you can tell them that doing so will benefit the whole mankind. Listen to their arguments and questions. Anticipate and prepare well for the questions which often might sound silly and dumb/unintelligent. Patiently answer them and try to convince them softly. This attitude will help everybody. One important thing to remember is scientists should be open and honest about controversial issues.

There are a wide variety of things Scientists can give people outside their world:

  • Some time
  • Attention
  • Warmth
  • A feeling of importance, a feeling of being respected
  • Information which might be of interest to them
  • A genuine attempt to make things easy to understand

Remember, when you put yourself in a generous mindset, people will see it, feel it, and like you more!

Some other people don't try to talk to scientists because of the high respect and awe they have for them. I have noticed this by observing these people in big groups.  This is another problem altogether. So to solve it, I specifically go and talk to them, put them at ease, make them speak and hurray! they get surprised, open up shyly and feel very happy to connect with you! It shows in their eyes!

People often say they cannot relate to scientists like they can relate to artists- especially the movie stars - and sports persons. Because scientists, according to them, are cold and unemotional, and speak in an 'alien language' they don't understand. Some say the excessive jargon the scientists use seems at times like a gate meant to keep out less serious readers/listeners. So developing a friendly atmosphere to communicate in the way people want is necessary. ( Two art magazine editors asked me to say things passionately and become more 'personal oriented' while conducting interviews with me. It was an uphill task for me. Finally when I could not do it to their satisfaction, they changed my words. When I asked them why they did this they told me they wanted to bring life to the interview! But what they published were not my words and they didn't represent me as an individual. And I wasn't happy at all! That is how we are! Can we change ( losing our identity as people of science) to be like other people at least when we are with them so that they can relate to us is a million dollar question). contextualization suggests that science must be presented in the context of a person's values, beliefs, and personal experience. Scientists accustomed to making decisions purely based on evidence, without the influence of feelings or personal values, may find this to be an onerous task. But building trust requires a human touch.

However, when you have high IQs, your EQs become mediocre and the communication system gets disrupted. Why? Find the answer here: why-is-it-difficult-for-scientists-to-have-high-eqs

To negotiate this problem, there are people who are trying to 'train' scientists in communication skills. Yes, some of the points they make during the training sessions might be true but not all. Let me give some examples here.  These trainers give more importance to body language. Natural warmth, genuine attempt to communicate will resonate with people automatically. Nobody needs to get trained if s/he honestly wants to communicate with others. It shows in each and every atom in the body of the presenter! However, some of these trainers - who are mostly from the field of art - give priority to hand and body movements ( gestures)  like shrugging, tilting of heads etc.  which are important to communicate ordinary things through art. However, I feel, getting science through one's senses is a bit difficult with too much of 'action' taking place before peoples' eyes. Science needs a different type of handling when the communication process is going on. People might  concentrate more on the body language than on 'complex science' - which demands the undivided attention of people to understand. I myself faced this situation when I was watching a video for the first time on Higgs Boson (added below in the comments section) . I, a Microbiologist, was trying to 'learn about bosons', a subject of Particle Physics, but the first time I watched this video, I concentrated on the person who presented it and his body language. The result? Everything went over my head and nothing entered it. I watched it again, this time concentrating on the picture screen behind the person and only his words. And the second time, I followed each and every word he said and understood what he was trying to say fully! ( I must add here that I am an introvert and introverts need less stimulation to understand things and more stimulation makes their brains  go haywire! The situations for extraverts  to understand things could  be different ).  When I brought this to the notice of a US based 'trainer' friend of mine, he said, the presenter of the video didn't use 'correct body language' and that was why I was distracted! "How about using minimum body language while dealing with science - only to the extent it is needed?" I asked him. After thinking for 48 hours, to my surprise, he said I was right! Moreover, he told me, he would take my views into consideration while training scientists!

A few days back I saw a pretty scientist presenting a science video on an online science journal. She was 'extremely vivacious' moving all her body parts simultaneously, shrugging vigorously, laughing - showing all her teeth, moving her head like a balloon in the wind ( we in this part of the world think differently from others and we don't move much of our body parts while communicating science -for that matter other subjects too- and we find these 'gestures of acting' extremely distracting). I am sure she was used to attract more people towards science. But has anything substantial achieved by her?  When I saw the comments below the video presented by her as an anchor on You Tube, I was shocked ( I tried to give a link to it, but couldn't find it, it must have been withdrawn now. I have added below another video made by this scientist "Organisms do evolve". You can read the comments on this video by visiting the You Tube website). People were discussing how sexy the scientist was, describing her vivaciousness instead of talking about science! Who wants science when a pretty lady is feasting your eyes with her 'acting skills'?! Do the trainers want the field of science become like factory outlets where all the communicators come out of these trainings with the same or similar presentation skills killing the variety in presentations? I don't think 'training' is the right way to go. Let each individual evolve in his or her own unique style in the way s/he presents science to the audience.  See here how beautifully a physicist, Dr. Joe Jordan,  connects with his audience:

 

I want to emphasize here that although the scientist used wonderful body language and humour, he didn't use complex scientific data. Moreover, his natural warmth and genuine attempt to educate people were the highlights of his speech. Therefore, people could connect with him instantly! His passion towards science,  honesty and simplicity made people adore him. No wonder, he got a standing ovation at the end of his speech! I am sure each and every person who listened to this scientist in person or on video understood what the scientist was trying to say hundred percent! What a great success his attempt was!

But according to some psychologists - The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) says that when people are motivated and able to carefully evaluate messages they tend to be persuaded by central aspects of a message (e.g., the strength of its arguments). In contrast, when they are not motivated or able to elaborate, they tend to be persuaded by more peripheral aspects of a message (e.g., the attractiveness or professional credentials of a speaker). Groundbreaking work by psychologist Shelly Chaiken and others emerged around the same time making similar claims. These theories were a watershed moment in the field, and have been proven to be hugely powerful and influential frameworks for understanding persuasion across a variety of contexts and fields (2). So these things have to be kept in mind too by the scientists while dealing with laymen!

While scientists are trying to write articles for laymen they should consider these things:

People complain that scientists tend to write long paragraphs and sentences. Assuming that the reader has kept up with the flow of ideas...Try to break up the para(s) into shorter information bytes. Make the text more readable by breaking things up. There is nothing wrong per se with fairly long paragraphs - even many novelists use them - but on first encounter, a reader may find them daunting when they are dealing with science. How are the sentences? Are they also very complex, with lots of appositives, an over-use of conjunctions (sending the same sentence off in different directions), and dependent clauses in odd places? Making it readable will probably start at the sentence level, making sure one flows into the next, that there is good variety in sentence length, that the ideas aren't too densely packed, etc. Readers need time to breathe, absorb complex ideas of science - but the ways of doing so are quite different for specialist and non-specialist readers. Short paras reduce the cognitive load on the reader and visually they make the page look less daunting. Some even accuse that scientists use lots of numbers and data, which make their understanding more difficult. However, they find photos and 'art works' more appealing while dealing with science.

And non-scientists too should try to learn things with interest. Just reading some folk stories written by journalists to increase the selling capacity of  their papers/magazines and thinking that they are true and coming to the table with half knowledge and arguing will irritate scientists. Can a few hours googling be equivalent to a Ph.D. of a specialist? Never! Internet provides half truths. I have seen people 'learning' things from internet  ( I gave them a new name: "Internet Scientists"!{1} ), thinking that what they have learned is correct so now they are as good as any scientist as they have 'researched thoroughly' about the subject on the net and arguing things with real scientists. This is a dangerous situation! Because what these people 'know' can only be half truths. To avoid this, listen carefully with full concentration to what scientists have to say about the subject. Ask questions. Try to get clarifications. Be open-minded. 'Correcting yourself if you were fed with wrong information from internet' with the help of scientists who have first hand details on the subject will definitely benefit you. Don't come to the table with the pre-conceived notion that all scientists are arrogant. In fact I found more softness than hardness in scientists than people from other fields (but then,  I too belong to their community! Their attitude towards me could be different  from that they 'show' before 'others').  Respecting their time makes scientists respect you too! If you come across as a person with real interest in learning, it makes a scientist agree to spend more time with you.

Some of the intelligent people - who are intelligent and analytical  in specific subjects like science  need not be  good at talking. They are good at just thinking. It takes time for them to arrange their thoughts into good words. They are not quick witted. They need not be good at language skills too to arrange words attractively like in poetry. People might think they - especially majority of the scientists - because they are not good communicators- are dumb while they are talking.
Again introverts need not be good communicators like extroverts.
Just because some people are good at talking they need not be geniuses. They can be good at acting skills and in art subjects.
People might give some clues about their capabilities while they talk but they need not be full proof intelligence markers. Don't judge people just by listening to their conversation.  Their work too should be taken into account. And don't believe ordinary people with good acting skills  when they give you lectures on topics related to science.

Another thing scientists say that sucks about explaining a layperson is: they just say stuff. That may or not make sense to us. And they think they're right, because emotion! Because intuition! Because outlier! Because single anecdotal piece of evidence! And they refuse to come out of these holes! Unless you co-operate and accept  to do neutral reasoning scientists cannot help you much!

Just because you believe in something doesn't make it true! Sometimes you got to accept facts whether you like them or not! Data and facts are very important in understanding the scientific world. If you refuse to accept them, there isn't much a scientist can do!

If you use false/old data or pseudo-science to fortify your arguments, a scientist usually finds that out instantly. If you talk nonsense you must expect to be challenged. Don't forget this: you can hardly fool an expert!

One scientist friend of mine once told me about an incident. It seems one person argued with him using all rubbish. When my scientist friend was dumbfounded after hearing to the nonsense the person was speaking and said, 'what?!' with much difficulty, the person looked at my friend triumphatically and said, "Being a scientist you don't know all these things? This shows your ignorance! I know much more than you do", to the utter shock of my friend. 

Don't expect the scientists to know all the rubbish you know. Scientists deal with only facts. If a scientist doesn't know about  or never heard of what you are talking, it means you are speaking trash.  

Another scientist told me after one of his lectures one person came to him and bluntly said, "Do you think we will buy your arguments? Never?! Go to hell!" The scientist couldn't even open his mouth. He was paralyzed  after hearing to these aggressive words.

"We cannot deal with completely closed minds and confirmation biases", he said, "I have firmly decided that I would never talk with people outside of my community again after the incident!

Please don't create such situations for scientists.  They are not your enemies. They are only trying to help the world.

Try to understand the big picture. Remember, science is not a ghost that will harm you. It is an angel that is trying to help you. Come to meet the scientists with open minds. You will definitely benefit from science. Science guaranties that.

To get to grips with scientific and technical things often requires asking smart people a lot of dumb questions - James Gleick

References:

1. http://kkartlab.in/group/some-science/forum/topics/lab-scientists-v...

2. http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/2013/09/16/the-...

You can read another of my article on science communication here: http://kkartlab.in/group/some-science/forum/topics/science-communic...

Views: 3422

Replies to This Discussion

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2012/06/18/why-scien...

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No religion or superstition or political party takes the time to teach people how to correct its errors. But scientists do. So I think it's a pretty weird group to pick out for alleged "arrogance".

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/a/165830/scientists-to-learn-the-...
Scientists to learn the art of communicating clearly

COLUMBIA — Scientists earning a Ph.D. and graduate degrees will gather in the MU Student Center this weekend to learn one more thing — how to best communicate their research to anyone who wants to hear it.

The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is hosting a conference Saturday about science communication — the ability to explain research in simple language.

With the public interest and tax dollars supporting research, scientists increasingly see the need to be able to explain their discoveries in a comprehensible, nontechnical way, said Hannah Alexander, associate adjunct professor of the MU division of biological sciences.

Alexander said that unlike many other scientific conferences, which focus on scientific skills or conducting research or publishing studies, this one will spotlight the art of breaking down the science into layman's terms.

"We want to concentrate on the one skill you need to do in any career in science," she said.

All 125 people scheduled to attend are graduate and postgraduate science students from across the country.

The conference is a marathon of speakers and networking — 19 speakers give scientists a few sessions to choose from over the course of the all-day event.

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology public outreach coordinator Geoffrey Hunt said the conference is an avenue for career exploration as well, exposing scientists to opportunities outside of only doing research.

"We're trying to show people that they can have success outside of the lab," he said.

Supervising editor is Allie Hinga.

http://realscientists.wordpress.com/about/

RealScientists
Real science, from real scientists, science communicators, writers, artists, clinicians.

http://sciencewriters.ca/latest-coming-events/resources/#!

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"Research should speak for itself". It does for people working in the same area of the field (we read/follow the papers published in scientific journals of our fields and understand them immediately). It doesn't for others. You need years of training - at least some effort to understand things scientific. Simple.
Yes, it is easy to speak to your own colleagues working in your field because they do understand 'your language of jargon'.
I am slowly coming to the position that this may be just an excuse for those who don't want to make the effort to communicate - a sentence that doesn't understand the difficulties the scientists face.
Communication is a process that takes lots of time and effort. With the hectic work schedules and limited time frames for other activities the scientists have, it is extremely difficult to 'climb up and down' the ladders of communication so frequently. I don't think it is 'arrogance' that is making scientists use certain words. It is frustration that people don't try to reach 'their levels of understanding things' to make things easier for them.
I gave several other reasons the scientists face while communicating in some of my articles. You can read them here:
http://kkartlab.in/group/some-science/forum/topics/standing-up-for-...
and here:
http://kkartlab.in/group/some-science/forum/topics/how-scienitsts-s...

https://www.linkedin.com/grp/post/121217-6043614918081531906

Very useful guide indeed!

Why we should trust scientists
Many of the world's biggest problems require asking questions of scientists — but why should we believe what they say? Historian of science Naomi Oreskes thinks deeply about our relationship to belief and draws out three problems with common attitudes toward scientific inquiry — and gives her own reasoning for why we ought to trust science.
http://www.ted.com/talks/naomi_oreskes_why_we_should_believe_in_sci...

The art of explaining science.. and why it's so hard to do

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/thepulse/item/72489-the-art-of-e...

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