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Articles on Science communication

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Kids figure out who’s trustworthy as they learn about the world. Sandro Di Carlo Darsa/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections via Getty Images

Trust comes when you admit what you don’t know – lessons from child development research

People often try to seem confident and certain in their message so it will be trusted and acted upon. But when information is in flux, research suggests you should be open about what you don’t know.
One of the most popular default colour palettes, rainbow, can actually produce misleading information. (Shutterstock)

How rainbow colour maps can distort data and be misleading

It’s important for scientists to present their data in a accessible and comprehensible manner. However, the colour palettes commonly used to communicate information can also distort and misrepresent it.
In the reluctance to vaccinate, there is a lack of trust and understanding of the scientific process. Better communication would help rebuild bridges. The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson

A researcher’s view on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy: The scientific process needs to be better explained

Before the pandemic, the public perceived science as infallible and inaccessible. But the opening up of research to the general public has changed that perception.
September 11, 2021 marks the 18 month anniversary of the WHO declaring the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. summerphotos/Stock via Getty Images Plus

18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic – a retrospective in 7 charts

A lot has happened since the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. A portrait in data highlights trends in everything from case counts, to research publications, to variant spread.
Studying trends in public adverse event reporting could help researchers address vaccine hesitancy and misinformation. Pict Rider/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Unverified reports of vaccine side effects in VAERS aren’t the smoking guns portrayed by right-wing media outlets – they can offer insight into vaccine hesitancy

Anti-vaccine activists are using the side effect reporting system to spread fear and misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines. But the database could also be used as a gauge for public concerns.
Listening to science is a lot easier for politicians when behind-the-scenes intermediaries are there to help. Morsa Images/DigitalVision via Getty Images

The behind-the-scenes people and organizations connecting science and decision-making

Before new policy can be based on evidence, decision-makers need to understand the relevant research. Intermediaries between scientists and policymakers translate information and build relationships.
Public service announcements, news articles and social media posts are all part of the coronavirus messaging landscape. Noam Galai via Getty Images

COVID-19 public health messages have been all over the place – but researchers know how to do better

During the pandemic, clear and reliable health communication can literally be a life-and-death issue. Researchers who focus on the science of science communication highlight strategies that work.
How can more scientists learn to communicate like Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases? Anna Moneymaker / POOL / AFP via Getty Images

Scientists need to become better communicators, but it’s hard to measure whether training works

Scicomm is a hashtag, and there are many programs that claim to teach scientists how to be better communicators. But it’s hard to show exactly what they’re accomplishing.
If what you’re reading seems too good to be true, it just might be. Mark Hang Fung So/Unsplash

6 tips to help you detect fake science news

Whenever you hear about a new bit of science news, these suggestions will help you assess whether it’s more fact or fiction.

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