An editorial in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology on "engaging the public" in a discussion about scientific discovery has drawn the attention of In the Pipeline's Derek Lowe, who says the advice given is "sound, if still rather boring." The editorial advocates talking to people about science on their level, gauging their level of knowledge before delving into a topic, and not using scientific jargon and acronyms, all of which Lowe says is useful advice, but that it has already been repeated often. It's not until the last few lines of the editorial that there is something new, Lowe says — that researchers start their own Web sites to teach people about science. "What I'd like for all science outreach activities to do, though, is get across what science really is, what research is like, and broadly how it works," Lowe says. "Rather than start off by trying to teach everyone lots of details, I'd rather that more people understood what the whole effort is like."
Talking to People about Science
Nov 09, 2010