Science is really, really important. From the ability to communicate with almost anyone in the world using a pocket-sized device, to the ability to land a robot on an asteroid 400 million kilometres away, science is constantly pushing us to new heights. Science also has a huge impact on the treatments and medicines that we can benefit from. 2014 saw an innovative cell transfer to treat spinal injury, stem cell therapies for macular degeneration and a promising new treatment for HIV.
Nonetheless, not everyone is sold on science. Science budgets have fallen over the last five years as policy makers take the axe to research. Science sceptics – from anti-vaxxers to animal rights activists, climate change deniers to chemtrail conspiracists, are also damaging the reputation of scientists and their research.
So what must we do? We must talk openly and clearly about the value of scientific research. 2015 must be the year of the science communicator. In many research institutions, science communication is simply part of the job of the press/media team, but we need every researcher to become a science communicator if we are to push back the tide of ignorance and teach people the vital importance of scientific discovery.
Speaking of Research is one of the many organizations trying to challenge misinformation in science. For this we need your help. 2014 saw our website traffic more than double (from 2013), but if we want to continue to grow we need more people to help communicate their science.
We recently wrote about five ways you can help Speaking of Research – all in less than the time it takes to watch an episode of Lost.
- Check what your institution says about its animal research [2 minutes]
- Get them to add a link to Speaking of Research [3 minutes]
- Help share Speaking of Research’s message on social media [3 minutes]
- Send us a picture of research [10 minutes]
- Speak up about YOUR research [30 minutes]
Let’s make 2015 the year of the science communicator – and let’s make every one of our readers an ambassador to the cause!
We hope you had a great New Year
Speaking of Research