Improving the Public’s Perception of Science

Prof. Chad Orzel of Uncertain Principles highlights a number of ways we can all help to improve the public’s perception of science.

  • Buy and promote science books
  • Demand science from the media
  • Support science education across the board
  • Train and/or support science teachers
  • Encourage science students in other careers
  • Encourage good commuicators
  • Reward outreach

Written primarily for professional scientists, I feel these points apply to everyone with an interest in science and education.

via Seed

2 thoughts on “Improving the Public’s Perception of Science

  1. Andrew Smith

    Good find.

    It’s absurd that “The Media” (I actually only read the BBC news and, to my shame, the London tabloids) will go into excruciating detail about politics, celebrities and sport, but when it comes to science they will either gloss over it with some anecdote/misunderstanding/exaggeration/bullshit or, even worse, invite someone from the Christian right to offer an opposing “viewpoint”.

    It’s great that a movement for better perception of science is growing. I just finished reading Bad Science by Ben Goldacre – which is really good and covers some similar ground. Highly recommended if you haven’t read it already. It’s the kind of book I wish was compulsory for all GCSE science students. I’m considering basing my next Toastmasters speech on the contents.

    Andy

  2. Lloyd Morgan Post author

    Ben Goldacre is peerless! I absolutely adore his Bad Science column and used to read the blog regularly, only removing it when I got annoyed by the RSS feed offering excepts over full posts… so frustrating!

    As for the book, I haven’t read it but it’s been on my Amazon wish list since publication and I feel this may be something to borrow in the near future :)

    Couldn’t agree more with your statement about making books such as this compulsory at GCSE level. I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest Paulos’ Innumeracy for this, too.

    Check out another post of mine, (Bad) Science Review, 2008; it looks at an interesting charitable trust that promotes ‘good’ science. It’s a nice complement to Goldacre’s Bad Science.

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