Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
Science communication series - Part 10
I have a very strong wish. Yes, the urge to learn how to convey the messages the right way in science was high on my mind when I joined several on line science writers and communicators groups. But soon I realized to my horror, instead of me learning something form these messengers who were in thousands and came from all over the world, I ended up explaining the importance of science, science concepts, theories etc. to most of them! I even defended scientific way of doing things several times in fora discussions! ''Why on Earth am I doing this here?'' was the question I asked myself several times. And the answers I got were really alarming.
I am listing below the reasons why some of the science messengers, I think, are not up to the mark.
1. Science communicators themselves are half ignorant! They usually don't have good knowledge about what they are saying or writing about science.
2. They are unable to fully come out of their cultural and religious conditioning of minds.
3. Some of them lack interest in science! (Yes, you read it right. They entered the job just because they will have to earn money for a living and their bosses asked them to go for science reporting).
4. They are not fully convinced about the importance of science themselves ( and I had to explain this to them very often!).
5. They are confused and are unable to sort out the differences between the real science and pseudo-science/myths, science criticism and skepticism/denial.
6. They don't know how to go about writing about science.
7. Some of them don't try to update themselves about the new aspects of science, new versions of stories in scientific research ( and end up giving old theories, examples and stories to debate and discuss! And need I say I had to bring the new versions to their notice?)
8. They are getting affiliated to certain movements etc. and are trying to project things in science only that support the points of view of the movements they are associated with ( who cares about facts?!).
9. Copying others instead of going for originality ( Some even copied me after reading my write ups here!).
10. Most of the media people usually don't try to correct themselves when they report something inaccurately and the facts were brought to their notice ( I wrote several times to news papers here regarding the wrong interpretations of research results/facts and my mails were just ignored. Why would they tell people they are not doing the things properly and not giving the facts accurately? This would effect their sales! Some report the first part of research which sometimes could be erroneous and don't report the corrected versions with the result that people usually get only the faulty versions of research).
11. Some are not trying to check the facts before reporting because of lack of time and dead lines.
12. Some communicators don't know how to interpret research results. They don't know how to simplify scientific theories/facts and connect them to daily issues and uses for people to relate them to their lives.
13. Some writers have very closed minds. They will be attached to their own views and versions and refuse to accept others' arguments even though they are very close to facts and truth ( ego might be the main culprit here).
14. Unable to overcome their own inadequacies, some science writers are blaming science, scientists and everything related to science for all the confusion!
15. Worst of all there are some science skeptics and total deniers amongst the science writers and communicators!
16. Media people are preferring sensationalism ignoring the facts to boost their sales instead of educating people in the right way.
17. Instead of going the way of 'true journalism' while reporting science, some are merely mentioning the data related to work done.
18. Those who are very good at science are not talking much about it!
19. Some of them don't try to read the original papers. They just depend on other reports in the media for their write ups.
20. Editors use their scissors indiscriminately and in confusion with the result that the important facts of science go missing in science related articles.
When I observed all these things in science writers, communicators and the media people I came across on line in thousands, I was really disappointed. Unless we try to address these inadequacies in communicators, we cannot expect good science communication anywhere in the world.
Suffer, man on the street, suffer. Even though your life could be made more comfortable because of science, when the messengers themselves are unable to deliver the science messages properly, it is your misfortune to be still miserable.
Now tell me am I doing something wrong if I shoot the messengers for not conveying the good messages properly? I don't think I am!