White House Coronavirus Task Force members reference a misleading chart in a press briefing.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Visualizations can help you understand data better – but they can also confuse or mislead. Here, some tips on what to watch out for.
Prof. Stephen Meyers and his Geoscience 100 class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Photo by Ethan Parrish.
A science researcher's work gets twisted by a conservative news site; he considers this his wake-up call to educate as many students as possible about the importance of science to our world.
One of the authors speaking at the 2017 March for Science.
Four scientists talk through the ways they now build outreach into their work as a way to spread their research's impact – something that wasn't the norm for past generations of academics.
Science is one thread of culture – and entertainment, including graphic books, can reflect that.
'The Dialogues,' by Clifford V. Johnson (MIT Press 2017)
You might not think much about science topics as part of your everyday life. But science – like art, music, religion – is part of our culture, and scientists can help it reclaim its rightful place.
Planning a communication strategy isn’t unethical.
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Scientists who engage with the public may have goals about influencing policy or behavior. But they also need to think about the short-term objectives that will help get them there.
The message might not come through if you put all your communication eggs in one theoretical basket.
Reports of facts' death have been greatly exaggerated. Effective communication jettisons the false dilemma in favor of a more holistic view of how people take in new information on contentious topics.
And don’t expect chocolate ice cream, either.
Millions of Americans believe brown cows produce chocolate milk? The way the media reported this factoid raises questions about science literacy – but different ones than you may think.
A shot of fake news now and your defenses are raised in the future?
Does science have an answer to science denial? Just as being vaccinated protects you from a later full-blown infection, a bit of misinformation explained could help ward off other cases down the road.
Will Bill Nye’s new show find a wider audience than Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ‘Cosmos’ did?
Vince Bucci/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images
Popular programming that focuses on science tends to not actually be all that popular. Bringing in new audiences who aren't already up to speed on science topics is a challenge.
How can we get students more engaged in science?
What is the point of science knowledge if you are not likely to use it once you leave school?
How you package the information matters.
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Are we in a race against climate change? Or is it a war? How does thinking of the past or the future affect your support for the science? Researchers are learning how metaphors and context matter.
Taking stock of what we know works… or not.
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Now that we're in a post-truth world, a timely report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine highlights evidence for what works and what doesn't when talking about science.
Scientists need to learn how to hit other communication goals.
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Broader goals like building trust, fostering excitement about science and influencing policy decisions don't necessarily just fall into place when researchers focus only on describing their work.
Um, you figured out what by doing which?
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Nobel Prize-winning science is almost by definition arcane and complex. While these esoteric fields have their moment in the spotlight, does it matter if the rest of us understand?
Pseudoscience: we should know better by now.
The pseudoscience, conspiracy theory and woo spreading across the world wreaks havoc on those that buy into it.
Kids need to love science to thrive.
Just having a national curriculum for science doesn't solve all of our problems.
The language that’s spoken in science classrooms is very different to every day English – even mother tongue English speakers may struggle because of this.
We view school science as largely a practical subject, but pupils must understand the language of science – which is often very different from every day language – if they are to excel.
But who will come out to talk with the public?
Universities may be facing a crisis of relevance but a growing number of academics are tackling this issue head on.
Is the real villain in Frankenstein the scientist who created him, or the people who refused to understand him?
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Critics of controversial science like GMOs and cloning often invoke the myth of Frankenstein to highlight the dangers of new technology. But these critics may overlook the moral of Shelley's story.
“This theory complex but important and – hey look, it’s Kim Kardashian!”
Making science 'sexy' leads us to keep looking in the wrong place for the things science could do for us.