Two years ago, I had no idea that “science communications” existed. Then, by random chance, while I was visiting home from college my mom showed me a book she had picked up at the library about “science communications.” To be honest, I never read much of it; I had to return to school a couple days later and never got around to doing more than just skimming through. But it planted an idea in my head that never left. Early in my college career, I had decided that I wanted to be a scientist. My original intent was to study environmental policy, but then it was geology, and I considered biology… Then it was political science. Political science gave me a
Early in my college career, I had decided that I wanted to be a scientist. My original intent was to study environmental policy, but then it was geology, and I considered biology… Then it was political science. Political science got me out of the lab and into the exciting world of fast-paced decisions and political strategies. My interest stayed in environmental issues, but I began to lean more toward environmental policy than environmental science. But with my background in science, I began to notice that conversations about science were different in politics than they were between scientists. Science seemed to often be misunderstood, portrayed as “uncertain” and therefore unreliable, it was often tremendously simplified (sometimes to a point where important information was missed) and so on. Perhaps the most striking example of this is in the ongoing “debate” about climate change, in which science has become seemingly irreversibly entangled with political agendas and its reputability called into question so many times that the public doesn’t know who to believe. Thus, before I even knew what science communication was, I think I had some idea that there was a pressing need for it.
Despite its applicability, you don’t see many courses offered in Science Communications at many undergraduate institutions. With one class left to fill before I graduate with a B.A. in Environmental Policy, I saw an opportunity to pursue this topic that has interested me for so long. In this study, I will explore what science communications is, who can use and benefit from it, and explore timely scientific issues and attempt to learn how to better communicate them to a wide range of audiences. I invite all readers to share their thoughts and comments on any of my work as well! I would love to hear what you think, or what you think I could improve. Stay tuned for more, and I hope that you enjoy following my project!