Welcome to the Science Communication Module

In this section, we will emphasize the importance of communicating your research and how you can reach a larger audience (including non-scientists). We will also cover various formats of science communication that you will likely prepare, hear, read, or write during your career in STEM.

Why is science communication important?

You likely pursued science because you like to solve questions no one has solved before and find explanations for why the natural world functions the way it does. Our work as scientists influences policy in many key areas that affect our planet and way of life, such as medical care, climate change, solar and planetary systems, nutrition, and more. You have a responsibility as a scientist to make sure people understand your work. Your findings are meaningless if you cannot share them with groups who can act on that information.

Scientists' day-to-day work revolves around the small—but very important—details of the main scientific questions we are trying to answer. You are systematically trying to solve a problem by performing experiments or building models that require gaining a lot of specialized expertise and troubleshooting very particular issues. This makes it challenging to keep the "big idea" in mind. We often interact with people in the same field as us, people who understand our project and the scientific jargon we use. So when it comes to communicating our research to people outside our fields, we find it challenging to explain things to an audience with limited scientific knowledge. For this reason, our approach to science communication must differ from our approach to everyday experiments and modeling.

The Big Picture: Setting up the scene to engage your audience

To successfully communicate science, we need to focus on the Big Picture, in other words, the main motivation that binds your work together and contextualizes it within existing work.