Thursday, February 13, 2014

Communicating Science - A TEDx Talk by Sheril Kirshenbaum

I ran across the following video recently and felt that it does a very good job of identifying some of the problems scientists experience communicating their science to the public. Even better, it provides some simple ideas on how to communicate better.

Sheril Kirshembaum is co-author with Chris Mooney of the book Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future. She is also the author, appropriately enough with Valentine's Day upon us, The Science of Kissing. As the Director of The Energy Poll at The University of Texas at Austin, Kirshenbaum focuses on how "to enhance public understanding of energy issues and improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public."

Here's the video:

As scientists we are used to talking to other scientists. Traditionally we've left the communicating-to-the-public part up to other people. We've even frowned on the idea of being "popular scientists" (think, Carl Sagan). But with the ability of any blogger or lobbyist to saturate the internet with misinformation, the need for scientists to communicate science has become a necessity. Kirshenbaum and others (think, Michael Mann) are helping to make that happen.

And so will we. More to come.