Valuing science communication

I’d like to briefly draw attention to part of our recently published Science Communication Training paper called “A Need for a Changing Value System”.

Science communicators often fall victim to the “Sagan effect“. People assume that if they do good science communication they must do bad research. (Fake News!) The truth is that, like research, science communication and outreach is a set of skills that must be learned and practiced, but when this skill building isn’t fostered and valued it hurts us all.

Scientists and policy makers consider creative and skilled science communication both an asset to and a fundamental element of science. However, few institutions within science explicitly support science communication efforts within their reward systems. We’ve got to change this!

Effective communication is critical for supporting the next generation of the geoscience workforce, attaining and maintaining funding, increasing public support of both basic and applied research, giving back to the taxpayers who fund scientific research, and enabling science-informed decision-making.

In short, science communication is important for science, scientists and society and we need to value it and support the people doing it.

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