LSC 432 Summary and Next Steps

Throughout the past few months, I published a series of posts about how to be a more effective science communicator.  I was prompted to take on this project through my course LSC 432: Science and Social Media.  In this class, I learned how to create a personal digital brand, optimize my Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, and pushed myself to revamp my science blog.  I started this blog as a vast space on the internet to basically gab about any science topic that I found interesting at that time.  After LSC 432, I know see why my blog didn’t get a lot of attention, and that I didn’t know what I was doing.

Blogging is different than keeping a journal.  You can’t just sit down, type whatever comes to mind, and expect people to listen to you.  What I’ve learned this semester is that blogging should have a purpose, and that purpose should be to help someone in some way.  If you’re not a professional (like me), the best way to blog is to share with others what you learned.  I realize now that before, I was holding myself back by thoughts of inadequacy.  Why would anyone want to listen to me?  I’ve never written a book and I don’t have a PhD.  I took a new approach to this blog because of LSC 432: my intention was to share with the world what I’ve learned in my Master’s degree program, with the hope that someone out there might find what I’ve learned interesting, or can relate it to their own professional or personal experiences.  

This latest series of posts has been inspired by my professor, and the many guest lecturers we had.  Did you know there are many people who make money because of their social media knowledge?  I owe a lot of what I’ve learned this semester to the guest speakers who took time out of their busy days to offer advice to me and other amateur bloggers.  What we found is that most of us were afraid to dive in and just start.  It’s surprising how all of these now very successful people once started off in our positions: feeling inadequate, not sure what they were doing, and bound to make mistakes.  However, one thing they all have in common is that they learned from their errors, kept going, and weren’t discouraged.  I don’t know if this blog will ever take off, but if that was something I wanted, I now have the knowledge to pursue such a goal.  

Where does this blog go from here?  Soon I’ll be graduating and have my Master’s degree in Life Sciences Communication.  My hope is to keep up this blog and post about new theories or methods of effective science communication as I learn and develop them as a professional science writer.  One of our guest speakers, Chris Marr wisely advised: “Be a student, not a follower.”  I intend to keep learning about science communication, and sharing with you my discoveries.

What topics/concepts of science communication would you like me to cover more?  Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Make sure to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates.

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Tell Me What I Believe: What you Need to Know About Confirmation Bias

Through these past few months, I have been exploring and discovering barriers scientists/science enthusiasts face while communicating science.  Of all I’ve learned about science communication, the theory of Confirmation Bias seems to play a large role in the divide between scientists and the general public.  Really, a lot of miscommunication and pseudoscience spreads so quickly and is so readily accepted because of confirmation bias.

  • What is confirmation bias?

Confirmation bias is “a tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions, leading to statistical errors.” Basically, if I think I’m right about something, I can Google my point of view and will most likely find information out that that confirms what I already believe, making me that much more sure of my bias.  I had my students test this out by doing a Google search on abortion.  Have the class Googled “abortion is wrong” and half Googled “abortion should be legal.”  We discussed their web results, which were reflective of the way they searched for abortion.  This simple experiment shows that unless you use very neutral terms, the way you Google a controversial issue can skew the web results you get.

  • Why should we care about confirmation bias?

With the Internet readily accessible, it is easier than ever to search for information that supports your preconceived notions.  As a science communicator, you can find yourself talking in circles to someone who did their “research” and thus knows that GMOs are evil and anyone who tells you different is a Monsanto shill.  It doesn’t matter if their are hundreds of articles out there that confirm the safety of GMOs, people who are skeptical of them will find an article that supports their beliefs and hang on to that.

  • What can science communicators do about confirmation bias?

Obviously, you can’t control people’s Googling search terms or how they seek out information.  What you can do though is be aware of current scientific issues, especially those that are tied with politics or moral issues.  As I’ve mentioned before, see a scientific argument as a partnership.  And finally, use tips from my previous posts to build trust with your audience so you can fairly recognize confirmation bias and refute with evidence.

Have you ever met someone who struggled with confirmation bias?  Share your stories in the comments section below.

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog. In my next post, I’ll be wrapping up this series with a reflection on what I’ve learned during the last two years in my Master’s degree program.  I will soon graduate and then hopefully apply my knowledge to a career utilizing science communication.  Make sure to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates.

 

5 Ways to Build Trust With Your Audience

The other day, I was at a cooking class and overheard a conversation between two women about the wonders of bullet-proof coffee.  I had to hold onto the table to keep my balance as my eyes rolled so hard into the back of my head.  I’d love to believe that drinking coffee laced with butter every morning is an efficient way to lose weight, but I know enough about fad diets to recognize if a diet sounds too good to be true, it is.  In my last post, I discussed how narrative plays a role in pseudoscientists tricking the general public into buying products, not getting vaccinated, or not accepting climate change.  Before pointing fingers at these people however, scientists need to take a look at the role they play in the spread of misinformation.  

First, as a scientist/science enthusiast, take a step back and look at how you are different from the general public.  You were educated or trained to think critically, analyze arguments, and gather information on a topic you are unfamiliar with. Wanting to be informed and being curious are natural aspects of a science minded person.  For the general public however, non-experts do not do this, and instead rely on their levels of trust within an institution or a professional to provide them with knowledge.  It is not enough for scientists to know things and tell them to the public.  

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Trust is key to science communication.  Here are five ways you can start to build more trust with the public:

  1. Show your credibility

For the skeptics and deniers, it is important to establish credibility with your audience.  If you are writing about climate change for example, being an expert in the field of environmental science, or citing credible sources from experts in the field is a way to start building trust with your audience.  It should be clear that you did your research on the topic and are not motivated by biases, emotion, or political agendas.

  1. Admit unknowns/limitations

To avoid sounding like a “know-it-all” or an elitist, don’t be afraid to admit the limitations of your knowledge, or things you aren’t sure about.  A sense of entitlement or “holier-than-thou” attitude can isolate your audience and cause them to not trust you.

  1. Acknowledge and address audience concerns

Even if someone has beliefs that are obviously based on pseudoscience or misinformation, do not dismiss them right away.  Listen to their opinions/perspectives and acknowledge them.  By listening, you can better understand where they got their information from, what their concerns/fears are, and how they constructed their beliefs.  Encourage your audience to debate with you and ask questions.  Acting open minded and receptive will give your audience the sense that you care, and that they can trust you.

  1. Refute pseudoscience fairly

After acknowledging the other person’s perspective, refute fairly.  It can be frustrating to talk to someone who is so obviously wrong on a topic and refuses to budge in their beliefs.  Try to not get emotionally involved.  Avoid name calling, yelling, and attacking the person.  This is the quickest way to lose your audience’s trust.  Instead, keep calm, arm yourself with evidence, and stick to the facts.

  1. Pick your battles

People don’t like being attacked for their beliefs.  Thus, as tempting as it can be to chime in when someone tells you they just bought a body wrap from It Works! that you’re better off throwing your money down the toilet and using saran wrap for the same “effects,” just don’t.  Be the trusted science-minded person who is happy to debate fairly and provide credible evidence, but isn’t a science crusader.  Follow these steps to be a trustful science person, but don’t get pushy.

Have you ever struggled with gaining the trust of a skeptic on a scientific topic?  Share your stories in the comments.

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog. In my next post, I’ll talk about the power of confirmation bias.  Make sure to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates.

Why Narrative Works In Science Communication: Part II

This post is largely inspired by Michael Dahlstrom, an Associate Professor in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University. Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of hearing him lecture in my class LSC 430: Communicating Science with Narrative.  

In a previous post, I discussed why narrative is more effective than data in communicating science.  Dahlstrom’s presentation yesterday built upon this idea by explaining just how powerful, and thus necessary, narrative is to science communicators.  

Dahlstrom began by providing examples from a government website on the benefits of vaccines and compared this to an excerpt from an anti vaccine website.  Take a second to guess how these websites differed.

Have you formed a guess yet?

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On the government website, there were statistics and facts about the efficacy and safety of vaccines.  They cited clear reasons why parents should vaccinate their kids: prevent diseases, keep others around you safe from disease exposure, etc.  The anti-vaccine website said something along these lines: “As a mom, I have four children.  Two were vaccinated and two were not.  I can tell you from personal experience that my two unvaccinated kids are more healthy.”

Now, any skeptic or scientifically minded person might roll their eyes at this statement.  What does this person mean by “healthier?” What experiments were done?  Where is your measureable evidence?  From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that it is hard for science trained people to accept that others are more receptive to anecdotal, non-data driven “evidence.”  However, as a science communicator, we can’t brush off these types of websites, because they ARE having a great effect on vaccination rates and disease prevalence.  While the range of measles cases in the U.S. was between 37-220 from 2001-13, there were 667 reported cases in 2014.  

Overall, Dahlstrom’s conclusion was that pseudoscience movements are using narrative more than scientists.  Because of this: 1) People are more likely to trust pseudoscientists 2) People are more likely to be swayed by misinformation and 3) People are less likely to listen to scientists who provide counter-evidence.  

This information should be a wake up call for science communicators out there.  When we finally accept why no one is listening to us, we can make the switch to win the public back.  As mentioned before, the key is not isolate our audience and use narrative to our advantage.

Have you tried to use more narrative in your own science communication strategies?  Share your stories and opinions in the comments below. 

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog. In my next post, I’ll talk about the power of using stories in communicating science.  Make sure to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates.

The Political Nature of Science

Did you ever wonder why it seems republicans and democrats disagree over certain scientific phenomenon?  It’s not your imagination: science and politics have, and always will be intertwined.  Today I will explore the political nature of science and how you can use this information as a science communicator.  

Science and Politics in Real Life: Climate Change

The most obvious and current scientific issue that has become politicized is climate change.  Although for years scientists have been warning about climate change risks, only recently has this topic become more salient within the global public and political sphere.

In general, republicans (particularly those in elected positions) tend to show doubt of the existence or severity of climate change.  Some even go so far as to call climate change a hoax. On the other side, democrats tend to argue that climate change is a real threat, and policy should be created to mitigate its impending effects.  While one can speculate that personal interests drive these opinions (ie: it’s not within Exxon-Mobile’s financial interests to admit that fossil fuels contribute to climate change), other factors could be at play.  

Confirmation bias, which I’ll cover in a later post, could be one reason for this cognitive dissonance.  People like to be right, and do not actively go out and find information that counters what they believe to be true.  Another could be surrounding yourself with people who hold your beliefs.  If you are only around others who are climate change deniers or sceptics, you are unlikely to change your opinion.

Why the Political Nature of Science Matters

As a science communicator, it’s important to keep in mind that some topics such as climate change can be controversial.  Knowing why these concepts are controversial is the first step towards putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and not isolating them.  It’s not possible to change everyone’s mind, but knowing the politicalization of science will prepare you to frame your comments around the science itself, and not the politics behind it.  Remember, in having a scientific debate, avoid attacking the person and their political party affiliation.  Keep the focus on the arguments and the evidence.  

Have you ever had a political debate over a science topic?  Share your experiences in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Next time, I’ll talk about confirmation bias, tying together some of these concepts I’ve been discussing so far. Make sure to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates.

Why Narrative Works in Science Communication

In a previous post, I talked about why Scientific data itself isn’t enough to change public opinions on science. How then do scientists convince the public to accept established truths?  If you’ve already read the previous article about how to not isolate your audience, it’s time to work on a proven method of communicating science: narrative.  Narrative, or using stories, is a powerful way for scientists to communicate to the public.  In this article, I explain why.

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Narratives are Universal

From old cave paintings thousands of years old to latest TV drama, narratives have evolved with humans.  In fact, telling stories is a defining aspect of humanity.  According to this article: “Storytelling is one of the few human traits that are truly universal across culture and through all of known history.” I dare you to find any country whose culture does not include fables, legends, or myths.  Not everyone understands complicated scientific concepts, but they do understand and recognize stories.

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Narratives Create Empathy and Teach

Believe it or not, there is scientifically grounded evidence that supports the power of storytelling.  Ever heard of the brain’s mirror neuron system?  In a nutshell, the neurons that fire in my brain when I perform a task (for example, picking up a pencil) are the same ones that also fire when I see someone else perform the same task.  The mirror neuron system is the reason why humans have, and continue to, evolve.  By watching others perform a task, we can then mimic that task, and in doing so, learn.  As science communicators, it is imperative to teach your audience if you are looking for grant money, policy change, or to dispel misinformation. Narratives are more powerful than data at communicating information because they cause the brain’s mirror neuron system to fire.

Stories also allows us to empathise with others.  When we see someone sad, we can understand their distress thanks to our mirror neurons.  Reading a narrative creates the same effect, called narrative transport.  Data on the other hand, doesn’t cause our mirror neuron system to fire (see my previous post on data for more).  Why should we care about empathy?  Empathy helps us develop our social knowledge and get along better with others.  We learn about how to live in a social world through stories.  In science communication, we can use this knowledge to promote social norms regarding things such as health or environmental stewardship.

Narratives are Persuasive

For science communicators, narrative is a powerful tool for persuading others to adopt healthier lifestyles, become more environmentally conscience, or create policy change.  A study done by Emily Moyer-Gusé found that narratives in the form of entertainment are more persuasive than overtly persuasive messages.  Why is this so? As mentioned earlier, narratives allow a reader to be transported into a story.  While engaged in a story, the audience is less likely to resist the message.  Another study found that the more transported a reader is into a story, the more likely they are to accept the main message.

By now, perhaps you’re thinking that I am arguing for stories such as those in children’s books.  That’s not the case.  Non-fiction narratives in fact were found to create equal amounts of transport as fiction narratives.  

How You Can use Narrative 

Now that you know the power of storytelling in communicating science, how can you use this in your field?  Some of the most effective science articles I read in the news are structured like stories.  They start with a person’s plight, then go on to explain the science (ie: cancer), then return back to the person.  To you, the data you collect or research may tell a story, but that’s not the case for a general. audience.  People like stories because they give patterns and meaning to your data.  Don’t leave the human aspect out of your science communication.

Have you ever used storytelling while communicating science?  Share your stories in the comment section below.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  Next time, I’ll talk dig into the messy, tangled web where science and politics overlap. Make sure to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates.

How to Talk About Science Without Isolating Your Audience

When I talk to scientists or science enthusiasts, one of their greatest frustrations in communicating science is facing an unresponsive audience.  It’s hard to try to argue for climate change or evolution with someone else whose beliefs are firm and unwavering.  

Some science based Facebook or Twitter pages tend to make this disconnect worse by mocking people who don’t accept scientific facts.  I started following some of these pages myself because I like being connected to other science enthusiasts.  I was shocked though by some of the memes and posts that outright personally attack the misinformed public, or people who spread science misinformation.  While I understand their motivations and frustrations, these pages isolate the general public and aren’t helping.  How then do you as a scientist avoid these common pitfalls and open up lines of communication?  In my last article, I ended with seeing scientific argument as a partnership.  Here, I outline my tips and tricks for effective science communication that won’t isolate others.  

Avoid logical fallacies

Believe it or not, even though a lot of these pages on social media are run by intelligent people with scientific backgrounds, they commit the worst logical fallacy: ad hominems.  An ad hominem is a personal attack, which literally means “to the person.”  Name calling, swearing, and threats are all ways to commit an ad hominem.  These attacks are either directed at people who peddle products based on pseudoscience, or the general public who doesn’t have an advanced understanding of science.  While both of these groups of people can pose challenges and barriers to effective science communication, personally attacking them is not the right method.  Here are some examples of these sorts of posts floating around Facebook:

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The issue with ad hominems is that they attacks the person rather than the argument itself.  If you want to change someone’s mind, take the focus off of them and stick to the evidence.  

Put yourself in the audience’s shoes

Take a step back and look at how far your education has evolved since you were a little kid.  From the time your interest in science sparked to today, you have become (to some degree) an expert on science.  Even if you don’t have a PhD, perhaps you’ve taught yourself enough science to know more than the general public.  Now try to think about how you learned science growing up.  Who were your favorite teachers?  How did they help you to understand scientific concepts?  Keep in mind when you’re having a debate with someone about climate change that they might not know as much about the topic as you do.  Think about how you frame your arguments knowing that the other person probably doesn’t have the same arsenal of facts and data as you do.  With that in mind…

Don’t use technical jargon

Scientific terminology is appropriate in a research paper or at a conference, but not when you are speaking to a general audience.  Use simpler terms and try to create comparisons to simpler, more well-known concepts.  As I’ll get to in a later post, this is communicating science using metaphor, and it’s extremely effective.  This also will make you seem more relatable and less elitist to whomever you’re speaking to.

Seek collaboration, not competition

I ended my last post stressing the importance of seeing science communication as a communal process rather than a debate.  Again, I’d like to stress the importance of working together and reiterate that this is the best way to avoid isolating your audience.  Creating an “us vs them” mentality is counterproductive and at best will make your audience trust you less.  Trust, as you’ll soon learn, is another important key to science communication.

With these tips, you can reach a level of mutual respect between you and the general public.  Don’t make the mistake of other science social media pages that isolate and attack the very people whose minds they are trying to change.

Have you seen any examples of bad science communication?  Share your stories in the comments below.

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog. In my next post, I’ll talk about the power of using stories in communicating science.  Make sure to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates.

Why Your Scientific Data Isn’t Changing Anyone’s Opinions

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Have you ever been in a debate with someone over climate change, evolution, or vaccines, only to notice that facts are not swaying their opinion? You’re not alone.  As scientists, it seems given that when faced with (proven) facts or data, you should accept them.  That’s not the case for the general public.  In this post, I’ll explain why the majority of people don’t respond to scientific data, and how you can use this knowledge to become a more effective science communicator.

When humans have a knowledge gap in one area, they rely on shortcuts, or “heuristics” to make decisions more quickly.  Sometimes, the shortcut is basing an opinion on past experiences.  For example, if you weren’t alive when polio was prevalent, your likelihood of understanding the importance of vaccines, and preferring the risk (which is actually non-existent) of autism over polio might be less than someone who saw a sibling become paralyzed from polio.  Not having a past context to relate to can make it very difficult for scientists to counter scientific misperceptions using data.

Another challenge to arguing with data is rooted deeply within the human subconscious.  Sometimes our data doesn’t align with people’s conceptualization of a scientific topic.  One study on climate change found that people who do not see climate change as a threat perceive climate change as an object, not a process.  This deeply embedded misperception makes presenting facts as effective as putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound.  This finding hints at the importance of metaphor in communicating science, a topic I’ll cover in a future post.

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Perhaps one of the most prevalent heuristics guiding science perceptions (and misconceptions) is politics.  In a later post, I’ll go into the specifics behind the politicalization of science.  For now, it’s important to accept that many scientific topics, particularly climate change, have become intertwined with political dogma.  As an example, your political party affiliation almost always will determine whether you see climate change as a threat or not.  Politics can unfortunately cause the public to be misinformed. According to a Dartmouth study, it is extremely difficult to counter a misinformed public that is relies on political heuristics to form opinions.  

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All of these heuristics boil down to the key issue with using data in scientific arguments: people do not like to be told outright that they are wrong.  Knowing all this, how does a science communicator counter misinformation if we can’t whip out a graph or statistics? Julia Galef, a science educator, public speaker, and President at the Center for Applied Rationality, confers that the best way to engage in a rational argument is to reframe it as a partnership.  Trying to “win” an argument and determine who is “right” and who is “wrong” only fosters a hostile exchange.  Instead, next time you are arguing with someone who is convinced that vaccines cause autism, take a second to recast you and the other person as two equals collaborating on finding the right answer. As Galef states, this sort of mindset allows you to focus on the arguments themselves, not who will walk away triumphant.  

What have your experiences having arguments about science been like?  Share your stories in the comments below. 

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog. In my next post, I’ll talk about how to avoid isolating your audience while communicating science.  Make sure to subscribe to my blog and follow me on Twitter or Facebook for the latest updates.

7 Things All Scientists Should Know About Communicating with the Public

Most scientists know that effective science communication is a crucial part of their job.  Whether you are speaking at a conference, teaching a class, applying for a grant, or having a daily conversation with someone outside your field, lack of effective science communication can lead to mistrust of science/scientists or misconceptions.  Over the next few months, I’ll be guiding scientists, science communicators, and science enthusiasts on how to successfully talk about science to the public. To start this series, today I’ll introduce the top seven things all scientists should know when communicating to the public.  In following posts, I’ll be expanding upon each of these topics and show you how you can integrate this knowledge into your daily life as a science communicator.

  • Data doesn’t change opinions

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When you have a strong science background, you know the importance of data.  Data=facts=truth.  Data is indisputable. Most scientists would agree that new data adds to their knowledge base and can change previously held assumptions. The public however does not react the same way.  Data is un-relatable to a general audience.  Instead…

  • Tell a story

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People don’t respond to data the way they do to stories.  Why?  Story telling is an inherent aspect of humanity.  Because of our desire to create meaning and order out of patterns, humans have been telling stories since the beginning of time.  If you tell your audience a story, they are much more likely to be receptive to what you have to say.

  • Don’t isolate your audience

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It’s frustrating to see all of the pseudoscience prevalent in modern society.  Anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, the Flat Earth Society (yes really, these people exist).  Why do people fall so easily for pseudoscience?  It can be easy for scientists or science enthusiasts to mock, attack, or belittle these people.  Doing so however is not going to get your audience to change their views or see the established truths.

  • Science and politics: forever intertwined

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Climate change and evolution: two examples of how science can be polarizing.  Suddenly it seems like climate change is an important issue to democrats, while republicans doubt its authenticity.  Evolution has always been a moral issue as it counters some Christians’ beliefs about creation and the Bible. If you’re going to be an effective science communicator, the first thing you have to accept is that science will always be politicized.

  • “Tell me what I already believe”

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When someone believes something, most will want to continue believing it.  It takes work to seek knowledge that goes against what you believe and change your view points.  A lot of people are also just plain stubborn.  When you’re talking science to the general public, they are immediately going to judge you based on whether your information conforms to their previously held beliefs.

  • Trust is key

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A big barrier for scientists is trust.  If your audience can’t trust you, they aren’t going to listen to you.  This has become especially important today in the wave of pseudoscience surrounding GMOs, climate change, alternative medicine, and gluten.  In order to open lines of communication, you have to start with building trust.

  • Know your audience

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Scientists talk to each other often at lab meetings, conferences, or in social situations.  It’s easy to converse with someone when you both have the same level of knowledge in a given field.  When you’re talking to a member of the general public, you need to know the needs and expectations of your audience.  Consider what they already know, and what they need to know.  This can be a hard balance.

Communicating science with the general public is no easy feat.  There are many challenges scientists/science enthusiasts must overcome.  I highlighted above seven important things to know about communicating science to the general public.  In the upcoming weeks, I’ll expand on each of these topics and show you how you can better create a healthy relationship between science and society.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.  I’d love to hear from you: What questions or concerns do you have as a science communicator?

8 Science Communication Accounts You Should Follow on Twitter

There are many great science communicators that are active on Twitter. Their accounts show that it is possible to connect the general public to scientific facts. Their expertise has helped shape my personal science communication philosophy, and they can do the same for you! Here are 8 of the best #scicomm accounts that you should be following on Twitter, and why:

1) Dominique Brossard @brossard

She is a professor in and chair of the Department of Life Sciences Communication at UW Madison. She shares articles (many wrote or co-wrote) on science communication, particularly on public attitudes to emerging technologies and risk communication.

2) Dietrem A. Scheufele @scheufele

Scheufele is another Life Sciences Communication Professor at UW Madison. Like Brossard, he posts articles about issues in science communication often. He also talks about the political nature of science communication.

3) Quora Science @q_sciencewritin

According to their website, Quora’s mission is to “share and grow the world’s knowledge.” Under their large umbrella of topics, their science writing Twitter page is full of interesting articles related to science writing originally posted to Quora’s website.

4) Tiffany Lohwater @tiffanylohwater

Lohwater is the interim Chief Communications Officer at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her Twitter page reflects her position. Check out the interesting articles she posts related to science communication.

5) SciComm Hub @SciComm_Hub

This Twitter account is a central location of articles and blog posts related to science communication. It’s also a great resource to check out upcoming science communication conferences.

6) Roy W. Smolens Jr. @RWSmolensJr

Words of communication wisdom, interesting pictures, and interactions with other Tweeters are all on Smolens Jr.’s Twitter page. His background in strategic communications

7) Neil Stenhouse @n_stenhou

Another professor in the department of Life Sciences Communication at UW Madison, Stenhouse specializes in sci comm through energy and climate change politics, with a focus on civic engagement. His Twitter page reflects his professional interests with a host of relevant sci comm articles.

8) Abby Olena @abbyolena

Olena is a developmental biologist and a writer. She is a great example of why it is advantageous to be a good writer as well as a good scientist. She’s a contributor to The Scientist.