With science and technology touching almost every aspect of our life enforcing effective science communication is the need of the hour. However, despite the fact, many institutions and organizations fail to impart or incentivize science communication.
As per Jessica Eise, a communication researcher, there are three major barriers to effective communication of science.
1. Inability to teach researchers about communication:
Researchers who are required to communicate as a part of their role should receive formal communication training.
For this, a research group head can seek the help of training centers or professionals for conducting short course programs. Doing so can help researchers develop effective communication. Furthermore, at university level communication departments can be approached for help. Apart from this, scheduling presentations by local journalists on effective communication can help researchers a lot.
2. Not incentivizing researchers for communicating their research results:
If institutions want to promote science communication then they should adopt some meaningful strategies to achieve it. Often researchers who are asked to conduct science communication find the task a bit difficult and time-consuming.
Also, since there are no tangible rewards they are reluctant to do it. They are more focused on promotions through academic publications.
Therefore, if institutions have a serious concern towards science communication, they should consider providing some notable benefits to researchers, either in the form of career advancement or monetary incentives.
3. Exclusion of social scientists from hard science research groups:
Most of the challenges that are primitive to society aren’t restricted to a specific course of study. Thereby, incorporating a social scientist in a hard science team can help researchers coordinate their work with the needs of society.
It can help researchers from natural science backgrounds improve their understanding of human behavior and interests. With this information in hand, researchers can effectively establish communication with the masses. They can make their scientific findings more visible to people by analyzing their concerns and actions.
Effective science communication is a great tool for imparting value to researches. In the long run, it can yield fruitful benefits for institutions.