Sound Science & Achieving Positive Change
What does it mean to be “scientifically sound?” It means denouncing pseudoscience and adhering to the requirements of best available science as defined in WAC 365-195-905 (5)(a) and (b) [https://bit.ly/31H0aCh].
OK, that is pretty “jargony.” Simply put, sound science implies that a set of data, facts, or conclusions of a scientific nature are supported by *studies that follow the high standards of the scientific method.*
The results of these studies generate facts and evidence used to inform public decision-making. But sound science alone will not achieve positive change. That is why science *must* be coupled with *effective communication.*
We are no longer in the age of doing “our job” as scientists by presenting the results of our “sound science.” No. 𝙄𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙚 – 𝙖𝙨 𝙨𝙘𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙨 – 𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙜𝙣𝙞𝙯𝙚 𝙨𝙘𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙪𝙣𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 (𝙎𝙘𝙞𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙢) 𝙖𝙨 𝙖 𝙛𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙗𝙚𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖 𝙨𝙘𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩.
Our current system isolates the scientific community from the rest of the world, with no free exchange of ideas, leaving a major disparity in scientific literacy.
Even if you have no formal training in communications, I encourage you to start. Feel overwhelmed by that challenge? Maybe you can start, simply, by breaking down jargony words – like macrophage (large, eater) – to better explain their meaning and/or function.
Recently, I gave a talk about immune system cells for The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and I did just that. I did not use PowerPoint (yuck!), and I coupled the breakdown of words with striking visuals. What can I say, it was simple, impactful, and effective!
The future of science is effective communication, and it is through effective communication that we can:
✫ Share science with everyone
✫ Correct false beliefs
✫ Bridge gaps between worldviews
✫ Inform public decision-making
✫ Breakdown barriers and include more people
✫ Improve diversity, equity, and inclusion problems
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