Communicating Science

I am a big fan of John Oliver and his HBO show ‘Last Week Tonight.’  Last night the show covered a topic near and dear to me, the publication of science and how it is communicated to the layperson. He raises very important points about how scientists are motivated to produce exciting new research for grants and tenure, rather than replicating existing studies to prove or disprove them.  He also talks about how science is portrayed in the media, and how studies are interpreted without context or fine details. We need science communicators.  People who are scientifically literate and can communicate complex...

More Visions of the Future

When it comes to science communication, the most important thing to keep in mind is the perspective of the layperson, what someone will see, think, or understand if they have no prior knowledge.  When you have some expert knowledge in science it can be hard to put it aside, but imagining the thought-process of a beginner gives you valuable information about how you are communicating, and can make a huge difference in your effectiveness. Which is why I am always thrilled to see things that communicate real science, yet stimulate the imagination.  NASA, being a publicly funded organization, has to...

Motivation Monday: Understanding People

There are two kinds of people in this world…. wait maybe four….but if you use this model then there are sixteen… okay let’s try this again.  There are over 200 models for human behaviour in the world, and each one will tell you different things, like how many types of people there are, or how to work with people who you just can’t get along with.  I’ve encountered a few of these models in my life, though I feel like the Myers-Briggs types based on Carl Jung’s psychology is the most well-known, and the one that most people colloquially identify...