Why it should deal with only science and nothing else.
Why? Because of four things:
1. Biases and 2. public perception
3. To avoid division among public and 4. to get undivided attention.
What have these things got to do with sci-com?
A lot! Let me explain.
There is a person: A B. This article 's written based on a true story about this person, who 's my colleague. I analysed and explained the situation he is in to him as he is failing in sci-com.
AB is a very good researcher. He published excellent papers in high quality journals. That should make him a highly respectable person. Right? Right.
People should listen to him when he speaks about his research in science.
But ... AB complained to me that this 's not the case. He told me he 's not being taken seriously.
Why is this?
Because AB screwed up things! How?
AB is neck deep into fierce politics of this country.
He is also highly religious.
Nothing wrong with these things. He has every right to do or follow things he is passionate about.
So, where did he go wrong? Here: He wears all these things on his sleeves even while dealing with ( during the process of sci-com) or doing science!
In what way these 'personal things' of his interfere with the science he is talking or explaining?
Well, when a person enters politics and chooses a party or ideology to join or support it, don't forget that there will always be an opposition to that party. When he gets associated with his party and its ideology, the public perception changes the equation here. Every thing he does or says will be seen in this light. People attribute ' strange things' or intentions or biases to it, whether they are really there or not.
If AB talks in the language of his party, opposing all the other parties and ideologies (people are forced to do this to remain in the party or to get 'rewards') , it becomes more complicated. People cannot separate AB 's personality associated with his party's ideology from his science.
If AB's party courts pseudo-science, he will be associated with it too. If it opposes AGW ( man-made climate change), he too is marked as 'anti-climate change' person. If he really agrees with his party's stand, on these issues, well his science becomes ill or will be dead. Even if he doesn't then too he cannot avoid this marking of 'anti-science' because he got associated with a party that practices it.
Likewise, a person of science's religious beliefs too somewhat interfere with public perception unless you openly express your thoughts to the contrary and stand by them at all times without any exceptions or making any excuses.
"Oh, he belongs to that religion, so he must be courting pseudo-science. He is talking in that way because his religion is against science .... bla, bla, bla, bla.
This is how public perception interferes with science comprehension.
People refuse to take science the person is dealing with seriously most of the time.
This can also divide people on political and religious lines while 'discussing the science' which is highly irrational and deplorable. A messy situation where genuine science can't flourish. It also diverts the attention from science to other things and the whole purpose of communication is lost!
This is why it is very important for a scientist or a researcher who is trying to communicate his work to the general public or a science journalist to give a very clean and disassociated image by keeping his or her 'leanings' locked in a cupboard at home and he should never try to bring them into public domain.
If he doesn't want to do this, he should not talk about science because he can cause serious damage to science comprehension of the masses.
After my analysis of the situation my colleague realized where he went wrong and is now trying to amend his ways.
AB, I took the liberty of telling your story to the world to make it understand the fuzzy world of sci-com. I hope you don't mind this! :)