Communicating in Science: More Difficult than You Think

Have you been in a room listening someone speech and you do not understand what the speaker is talking about, even when you are familiar with the topic? It happens to me all the time! Now, imagine the same scenario but this time, the audience does not have any background in the speaker’s field. Even worse, don’t you think?

Oftentimes, I struggle so much trying to explain my research to both people related to the field and non-related. For me, it is hard:

  • To convey all the key information in a short amount of time.
  • To clearly convey my research when I have to improvise (when I do not have time to think what I want to say) In my non-native language, this is even harder!
  • To quickly think of creative ways and examples to explain my research in a way that everyone can understand.

We do not train ourselves for that. We learn how to write scientific papers but even with that knowledge, we also struggle trying to explain what we did when we write. We understand what we wrote but if we give the writing to someone else, it is not clear.

Research but itself uses complicated terms and definitions. Thus, as investigators, it becomes essential to have the ability to clearly communicate our research in a way that non-special audiences can easily understand the topic. It is not a matter to say what we wrote or how we think. It is a matter of how we connect with the audience and how we creatively engage them.

Nowadays, research has become a vital part of the development of society. Therefore, we need to find alternatives ways to develop the skills needed to communicate research to people from different education levels, academic disciplines, research specialties, race, culture, religion, and so on. Why? Because research requires interdisciplinary knowledge.

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One Response to Communicating in Science: More Difficult than You Think

  1. Khang Pham says:

    I love how you mentioned that research is interdisciplinary. That is so true with any jobs that we have today. You will always work with people inside and outside of your field. I guess we all need to keep practicing to become better communicators!

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