Why Science Communication Matters

Earthquake damage near Abruzzo, Italy, 2009 (RaBoe via Wikimedia Commons)
Earthquake damage near Abruzzo, Italy, 2009. RaBoe via Wikimedia Commons

As you’ll know from my mission statement, the purpose of this blog is to help science tell its own story, in other words, to improve communication between scientists and non-scientists. While I believe this to be a noble goal, others may disagree. Sure, knowing about science might get you a better score down at your local pub trivia game, but you can drive a car perfectly well without understanding the subtle details of thermodynamics that make it go. Science, the argument goes, is interesting to a select few but not essential for the vast majority. If the general public doesn’t “get” science, so what?

Well here’s what: Last month, six Italian geoscientists were charged with manslaughter for failing to warn the public about the L’Aquila earthquake of 2009.Continue reading