There is a global insurgence for communicating research to the public. But the very first question arises why communicate research to the public? Why public should know about research or S&T? Why scientists should spent their precious time in talking to or writing for the public rather than working on a new paper? Scientific research, scientists and the public show a very intricately woven relationship. Scientists cannot do alone their research without public support and the public cannot solve their problems without scientific interventions. Advances in scientific research and their implications on society are critically important in the modern information age. The results of research have a direct bearing on our socio-cultural and political life. S&T is confronting man at every step of life.

A greater demand for an increased access to the scientific knowledge by the different communities has been realised. People, whether literate or illiterate, are living in a world of science and technology and survival in this
S&T age can be very difficult if they are devoid of scientific knowledge. Access to scientific information is the key to survival in this hi-tech world. Science communication protagonists are demanding scientists, in addition to communicating their scientific research to the peers, to communicate their research in a popular language to the lay populace – the ultimate consumers of research. In fact, communicating research or S&T advances to the public is the need of the hour and so scientists should play an active role here. Further, science communication can ensure transparency in the pursuits if scientific research and can help in developing consensus on controversial issues and can provide the direction in which science should march ahead. It can also do a lot in democratizing science.

A critical review of the problem ‘why communicate research to the public?’ is proposed to be presented in this paper highlighting and discussing the various factors which can only be addressed through science communication. Role of science communication in democratizing science is also proposed to be discussed in the present paper.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Why communicate research to the public?

A. Singh   Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM)

There is a global insurgence for communicating research to the public. But the very first question arises why communicate research to the public? Why public should know about research or S&T? Why scientists should spent their precious time in talking to or writing for the public rather than working on a new paper? Scientific research, scientists and the public show a very intricately woven relationship. Scientists cannot do alone their research without public support and the public cannot solve their problems without scientific interventions. Advances in scientific research and their implications on society are critically important in the modern information age. The results of research have a direct bearing on our socio-cultural and political life. S&T is confronting man at every step of life.

A greater demand for an increased access to the scientific knowledge by the different communities has been realised. People, whether literate or illiterate, are living in a world of science and technology and survival in this
S&T age can be very difficult if they are devoid of scientific knowledge. Access to scientific information is the key to survival in this hi-tech world. Science communication protagonists are demanding scientists, in addition to communicating their scientific research to the peers, to communicate their research in a popular language to the lay populace – the ultimate consumers of research. In fact, communicating research or S&T advances to the public is the need of the hour and so scientists should play an active role here. Further, science communication can ensure transparency in the pursuits if scientific research and can help in developing consensus on controversial issues and can provide the direction in which science should march ahead. It can also do a lot in democratizing science.

A critical review of the problem ‘why communicate research to the public?’ is proposed to be presented in this paper highlighting and discussing the various factors which can only be addressed through science communication. Role of science communication in democratizing science is also proposed to be discussed in the present paper.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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