Science and Communication matters

Monday, 23 March 2015

Today, the School of Sciences of the University of Navarra is launching a new tool to strengthen the knots between Science and the public.

Science Magazine recently published a survey conducted among more than 3700 members of The American Association for the Advancement of Science about their engagement with media. Roughly, results showed that 87% of our American colleagues thought that they should take an active role in public policy debates about science and technology. In contrast, less than half said they had ever used social media and almost eight in ten have never written in a blog.

In a world that spins around Facebook posts, shared articles, retweeted ideas and trending topics, it seems more important than ever to find a way to draw scientists and the different communication platforms closer and closer. However, there is still a long way to go. According to this survey, scientists still feel suspicious about media including their youngest versions, the social media. But this is not all… 84% perceive, as a major problem, the fact that the public doesn´t know much about science and 79% say news reports don´t distinguish well-founded findings from irrelevant scientific curiosities. How can we tackle this?

In the School of Sciences of the University of Navarra, we believe that science is there to be communicated. And we are convinced that it is also part of our job to help the public know the findings, the concepts, the relevance and the potential risks and benefits derived from our scientific activity. We also want to share the “excitement of the Eureka!” with our fellow citizens. It is evident that there are still obstacles and challenges and we all realize that it´s a matter of combined efforts, science and society together, to see our common goals achieved. As scientists, we need to convey the message that, on top of a deep understanding of human nature, the progress of any nation grows in parallel to its investment in research and in training of new generations of scientists. And to do so, we need do better and to be more refined in our dissemination activity and in the use of classic, new and upcoming communication media. 

This blog, which we are opening today, is one more step towards communicating science more effectively. This is at least our goal.  “Our Science Matters” is a virtual space intended for scientists, students, graduates, public information officers and the public in general. We hope to provide you all with that extra source of science, breakthroughs and more importantly, fascination and intrigue.

“Science communication requires time, trust, and twitter” is the title of an article about science journalism, also published some months ago in Science. We´ve got the time, we are offering you our trust and now, we will also add this blog to our twitter account. After all, in spite of difficulties and lack of understanding, when truth and knowledge need to come through, scientists and people working in the media we are all in the same team. All Science communication efforts are worth and valuable because Science… matters!

Luis Montuenga, Dean, School of Sciences

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