Written Word: Articles and Blogs

The article is the classical format for science communication. Popular science magazines and news paper sections have been popular with a broad audience, who would typically receive the magazine via ‘snail mail’. Printed media has decreased in popularity since the introduction of online media. This is not only due to resources (paper, ink, publisher, etc) but also due to the much shorter time-to-market, which the internet provides. A scientific result on Monday can be conveyed to the public on Tuesday. Fast and efficiently.

Today, many scientists use the digital magazines and platforms to share their science with the broad public. Either they write the articles themselves or a journalist conducts their research via an interview.

Blogging has also become a popular way for science communicators to share their knowledge and the (both advantage and) disadvantage here is that there is no editor or journalist to help structure and convey the message. Blogging is generally a good thing, because the public can get direct access to science, i.e. to the person who is the subject matter expert. It becomes a bad thing the minute the science expert is not additionally a communication expert.

Another problem with the absence of an editor is that people without any scientific point can present their pseudo-science in a framework that imitates that of actual science. Then it becomes misleading and can convince a great amount of people of something that has no scientific backup.

Science should always come from scientists. And science should be communicated with the same diligence as the science itself was conducted.