The appointment with which this section begins shows the concern of Daniel Goldin for the problems involved in spreading the science, especially if the people in charge of disclosing it are scientific researchers. That is why he always recommends to his researchers and engineers that they dedicate time and effort to achieve a clear language, since it is a requirement and an obligation to communicate their knowledge to people in an understandable way.
The dissemination of science is a communication process in which the results obtained by researchers in different areas of knowledge to the general public are approached.
The beginnings of scientific dissemination go back to the seventeenth century, just when the birth of modern science is located.
The most representative effort to disseminate science is the book by Bernard Le Bouvier de Fontanelle (1657-1757), Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes (Conversations on the Plurality of the Worlds), published in 1686.
At that time, Fontanelle had the opportunity to get in touch with the main wise men of his time, the so-called “natural philosophers”, because he served as Secretary of the Academy of Sciences (Calvo, 2003). This gave him the opportunity to absorb the ideas of great philosophers, such as Montesquieu and Voltaire, and disseminate them to make them available to the majority.
Currently, the goal should not be different: the public should participate in the world of science in an active way. Through the ages, only a few have been concerned to serve as a bridge between scientists and society in general. Scientific knowledge has been in the power of the minority; However, it is necessary that the scientific and technological advances that affect the image that we have of the Universe, our environment and the life of the human being on this planet, are in the public domain.
You, as a good disseminator of science, you must be able to communicate with an intelligent reader, whatever your age and level of schooling. Think you could give talks to elementary school children about how to avoid gingivitis; to a group of infertile women, the relationship that exists between assisted reproduction and cerebral palsy; or speak to high school youth to talk about the characteristics of eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. Too technical language can discourage the public, because it can not understand what you say. Therefore, it is important to develop the ability to communicate to others, in a clear and simple way, the findings of science. It should be clarified that the purpose of the disclosure is to share the knowledge, not impart it; We leave the teaching to formal education (Calvo, 2003).
How to talk about science to non-specialists?
Make your message simple, but do not oversimplify it. When it comes to getting scientific concepts to someone who is not familiar with the subject, it is best to dismantle the concept and go straight to the essence; without nuances or details. Think, what is the central message I want to communicate? It is not about oversimplifying, what is suggested is not to complicate the complicated anymore. Can you explain the concept with a simple analogy?
Say something unexpected. An experiment is really the work of a group of detectives trying to solve a mystery. People like the mystery, so you’ll read your text from beginning to end, to find out how it was solved.
Be concrete He mentions the role that science plays in our daily lives. The movements of the electrons are very abstract, but they become real when talking about the electricity that makes our iPods work.
The disclosure article step by step
When primary research is done, the researcher has the obligation to report the results in a scientific article addressed to specialists. The disseminator must “translate” these findings and share them with the general public. Let’s start, then, a scientific article written by someone else. In the future, since you do your own research, you can write both the scientific article and the dissemination article.
Select a scientific article about a subject of your specialty or another that interests you. The article should contain abstract, keywords, introduction, method, results and discussion. If you do not have these elements, it is not a research report. Find another one
Make a descriptive review or a summary of 200 to 300 words, make sure that each of the sections of the original article are synthesized.
Identify or derive a topic from the scientific article that you think is worth sharing with the general public. Write a justification in which you mention why it is important and why non-specialized people should know about this topic (200 to 250 words). It is an argumentative text, so you should clearly identify your opinion and the reasons or evidence why you selected that topic.
Select five to eight key words and define them in your own words. Use explanations, narrations, examples, analogies and other resources that help you to build understandable definitions for the non-specialized reader.
Develop each of the sections of the outline. It is expected that 80% of the content of the article is of your own authorship. In the remaining 20%, you can paraphrase ideas from other authors or include a short textual quote. Remember that, both in the paraphrase and in the textual quotation, you must indicate the source of the query, following the appropriate format: APA, MLA or any other request.
At the end of the text, before the references, write a brief biodata. For example, Karla Miramontes is a student of the third semester of the career of Surgeon at the Tecnológico de Monterrey.
Verify that the text has the requested format: line spacing, indents, type and font size that your instructor has indicated to you. It also reviews the size of the images and the characteristics of the caption. Do not forget to check the spelling and punctuation.
Check the section of the draft review process, so you can ensure you have a final version that meets all the requirements requested.