Communication is important to Science

When I was young, I felt science was such a mystery to me. The things that scientists did and the words they used to explain made me feel they were so far from me. Even the first two years when I was in college, I still believe what professors doing must be some huge and complicated stuff and we were not qualified to be understood. This long-time belief was changed when I began my graduate project in a “fancy” research group in my last year in university. After the whole work, it was my first time to write abstract for a paper (my thesis). I surprised to find out that actually I can use only several sentences to describe all of my work, including the reason of choosing this subject, the method I used, the main data I collected and the conclusion and meaning of this work. Besides, when I tried to explain what I did to my mom, I found I can use a lot of simple words rather than professional terms to make it much more understandable.

In the past, scientists may only pay attention to their research and connect with their peers. But now, more and more scientists have learned that it is crucial to communicate with public, industry and other disciplinary. The result of one research can be made as a video to public and also can be presented as a poster in a conference. It is also important for scientists to connect with industry. There are multiple ways to connect industry and attract their interests on your research. For example, make a “elevator speech”. “Elevator speech” means a quick introduction of you and your research in two or three minutes, which intends to attract others’ interest in a very short time. It can be very helpful when developing network with industry people. They typically have limited time and want to obtain information as quick as possible. Hence such “elevator speech” can be an effective access to connect with industry and get funding or support from them. Finally, communicating with scientists in other disciplinary is more and more important in nowadays. No matter in academic conference or regular seminar in the department, to learn the techniques and progress of other subjects can be beneficial to extend our own research. It is common to “borrow” techniques from different fields right now. One example is in food science, chemical properties of one food can be detected by equipment such as HPLC, which is a typical chemistry technique. While when analyzing the composition and its changes along with the different processing condition, biological analysis such as protein gels can be used for this kind of study. Thus, communicating with public, industry or peers are indispensable to all the scientists to conduct a meaningful research.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *