Monday 3rd Feb, 3:45 pm
Dr Will Grant
“We fear not your gods, our strength flows from science”
Traditional scientific communities in Australia are becoming more and more interested in the benefits of communicating with the community at large. This burgeoning communication-consciousness is leading to an encouraging upsurge in scientists’ appeals for science communication.
While it’s brilliant that science communication is on more agendas, there is also a troubling downside. Accompanying the increased interest in getting science ‘out there’ is a revival of old-school deficit approaches to science communication.
We all know this litany:
- the more science facts people know, the more they will support and accept science across the board
- proclaiming the awesomeness of science will convert the unbelievers, and
- the best public communicators of science are scientists themselves.
What is it that science wants from science communication? If it is simply to make people like science, are we in danger of becoming the propaganda arm of the great revivalist church of science? Would that be a bad thing? Do we want to be the happy-clappers of science, or is there higher, more noble calling to which we should all aspire?
Join our panel of wildly-experienced, ever-so-humble science communication and policy luminaries as they brawl over the pros and cons of science evangelism in the public domain.
Repent ye, for the scientists are coming. And they want you for their own.