Science Communication

It seems to me there are two fundamental elements needed to foster a society that values science.  First, you need scientists that are able to translate the findings of their discipline to the general public. Second, you need a receptive general public.

If we want to live in a society that values science over ignorance
we need to find a way to encourage both of these elements. 

There are science communicators like Carl Sagan who poetically describe our universe to us, people like Neil deGrass Tyson who connect science to our daily observations, and people like Bill Nye who physically show us how science works. But then there are the rest of us scientists who maybe don't quite have the same way with words, and who don't have the platform, and who maybe simply don't have the time or even sometimes the desire to dedicate every waking moment to being larger-than-life science communicators. 

But just as we need Great science communicators we also need the everyday science-folk to pull their weight. Not every minute of everyday but enough that at least the people they frequently interact with learn something new about their discipline. I'm amazed that so many of my non-disaster friends have caught on the past few years and now recognize when the media reports disaster myths or uses the terms "emergency" and "catastrophe" incorrectly.

I strongly believe science communication is a responsibility of everyone involved in a science-based field. It's not enough for scientists to know science, the general public has to know it too. I'm lucky that most people find my area of study pretty interesting so I'm able to generate interest with relative ease. I've been able to integrate disasterology into the public through this blog and also through work that I've done through Extension Disaster Education Network, but honestly I haven't felt like that was enough.

I also work as the Humanist Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Foundation Beyond Belief (I really owe y'all a blog post about the programs we have). Among my various responsibilities I run the Humanist Disaster Recovery Networ Facebook page. The page was just created a few weeks ago and as I thought about how we could best utilize our platform, it occurred to me that the page, which already has 600 followers has the potential for much more, mainly real SCIENCE COMMUNICATION. 

I've created the following posting schedule (warning: brilliant alliterations ahead). We will also be featuring stories about recovery progress on the anniversaries of disasters. Our goal is to communicate the science behind disasters (I also write a monthly blog series, "The Science of Disasters" which you can find on the Foundation Beyond Belief Blog which gets more into specific research).

So I can be the scientist that translates the findings of disasterology if we can build a community that is a receptive general public. Starting this week check out the Humanist Disaster Recovery Network Facebook page and help us start building that community. 


Mitigation Monday

Mitigation Monday is the day to talk about mitigation, measures to reduce or eliminate the threat of a hazard, and related issues. Follow #MitigationMonday to see new articles posted each week.


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