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Shall I Compare Thee to Pythagoras' Theorem

Scientific ideas like genetically modified organisms, climate change, and the lack of connection between vaccines and autism haven't fully caught on with the greater public, and David Skorton, the president of Cornell University writes at Scientific American that scientists need to be better communicators.

While there have been pushes like Alan Alda's flame challenge to try to get scientists to explain concepts in everyday language, Skorton argues that what researchers really would benefit from is a liberal arts education.

"It is through the study of art, music, literature, history and other humanities and social sciences that we gain a greater understanding of the human condition than biological or physical science alone can provide," he says.

Skorton notes that the public too needs additional education, especially in numeracy.