Some of the scientists feel that writing research articles of the findings is the best idea. When a majority of them feel like this, in the long run, a significant amount of research remains only within the journals. The public will never come to know many useful research findings.
When I was requesting one of my scientist friends to write articles for the public, he did not understand the importance. What he told me is, “I have a good number of research papers in high impact factor journals and my research papers are referred by many and I also have a very good h-index”. These indices have value among peers and useful for career promotions.
He indeed is one of the top-most scientists in his field of research in the country. And his research papers are published in journals which are ranking more than 10 in Thompson index of scientific journals. He is one among the top-ranking scientists and there is no doubt about his scientific abilities.
But that was only one side of the coin, which is very brilliant. What about the other? If you ask about his importance either with his family members, neighbours, stakeholders or the general public, some of those who respect him, would tell, “He is doing some important research but we don’t know what it is” is the answer. Some others who do not respect him would tell, “he is a useless scientist eating on national wealth and good for nothing.” Since he is a very good friend of mine, I had no hesitation to bring this to his knowledge. He just evaded me telling, “I do not bother”.
Do you think many of our scientists are doing this way? They are losing their real importance and posture among the public only because they are not communicating their valuable research to the public? Let us see what is the importance of writing for the public?
Roles of Popular Science Writings
Writing will play three important roles as far as the public is concerned.
- Dissemination of information to the masses.
- Creating a dialogue between the scientist and the stakeholders.
- Educating the academic and teaching faculty.
If the above tasks are done by the researcher himself how beautiful it will be and transfer of information will be highly authentic. Wherever not possible it is the role of the science communicator to bridge the gap between the researcher and the common man.
Science Communication Tasks
Science communication involves:
- Selection of Idea
- Writing on that topic
- Editing the writing
- Proofreading for perfection and
- Publishing online.
Unlike a decade back, now, it is single-handed multitasking abilities for developing efficiency to complete these tasks sequentially by the scientist himself. In comparison, today software enables them to do these tasks easily.
There were print media involved in popular science publication earlier. Self-publication is possible in the following media in the present-day digital world.
- Social media
- Science blogs
- Streaming videos
- Science magazines online
- Open source portals.
Benefits of Science Communication
Some of the scientists who are doing research as well as communicating it to the public are doing a wonderful job. the quality and style of writing are compatible with the professionals who are topmost in the field. search scientists are excelling in their management capability is also and our leading the interdisciplinary team research.
Imparting knowledge on scientific findings
Writing popular articles create awareness among the public regarding scientific findings. Avoiding too much technical description and technical jargons will enable the common man to follow what is important for him.
Social commitments and values
When we work for solving the problems for doing improvement for the public it becomes pertinent to inform important findings to the stakeholders. This helps to increase the value for the scientist as well as fulfils the social commitments.
Science and technology development communications
Revolutionary findings, as well as the common use of research, will enable development. Large scale adoption results in revolutionary development. Therefore, science and technology communications play a role as developmental communication.
Creative communications, increase awareness, entertainment through research, developmental support, etc. leads to socio-political support for research.
Generating acceptance for research
Public friends value and importance of the findings common man in day to day life the acceptance for research goes on increasing. These will boost indirect support for research.
Feedback and refinement
Awareness and understanding by the as well as their feedback help in further research and development.
Strengthening Distributed networks
Limitations of different disciplines strengthen the distributed information networks and nearby support interdisciplinary research.
Updating knowledge of funding agency
Funding agencies, when come to know about new research and development advancements, will understand the importance of their funding. This would enable continued funding support.
Intellectual Property Protection
It is always important to disclose what is relevant to the readers. At the same time, it is very much important to protect intellectual properties (IP). For this inventors need not reveal actual data or designs. They can properly plan and decide the contents to be revealed to the public, which can appear on the public domain, without risking them to register the IPs.
Creative Writing Tips for Science
Sticking to the following points while writing science communications would produce high-quality contents.
- Systematically follow the five elements of articles such as the title, summary, introduction, main article and the conclusion parts effectively.
- Bring a conversation type of dialogue between the author and the reader.
- Include interesting characters like heroes of the story, quoted conversations, interesting plot of the story, storytelling style of narrative, etc.
- Format the paragraphs of articles carrying relevant ideas in 10-12 lines of simple and short sentences.
- Include images and graphical presentations.
- Use charts list and excerpts to make the article engaging.
- Include video elements which will create impressive take-home ideas.
Determine to Write Regularly
By understanding these important points of science communication for the common man, I hope my scientist friend would come forward to write for the public. Various online tools help to do this very easily.
Let us invite a majority of the scientists like him who are not coming to the limelight due to lack of awareness. We invite them that with at least some personal interests they may try to explain the research to themselves in a conversation mode. Every science graduates and researchers must attempt this as his routine. Yourself get involved in a dialogue within the mind, with your friends or your grandmother. Just like a grandmother tells an interesting story to her grandchild, tell stories of achievements to your audience. Consider them like your kids who do not know much about your subjects. Communication type itself indicates the popular science writings you write carries a lot of information to the people. These will not only communicate the important findings in the form of information but also result in development. It is easy to write regularly if you prepare a list of topics and keep going.
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