How to Improve Communication in Science

What if we were gifted with the ability to effortlessly communicate advanced scientific topics to people of any and all backgrounds? Do you think that we could further advance our ability to teach, and in turn, learn more about or surroundings and ourselves? Well as it turns out, we have been gifted! But due to personal bias or ego among the scientific community or even other reasons, this might just be the biggest scientific fail of centuries. Unless it isn’t…

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Last week, I saw an article from phys.org, a well-respected news media outlet for science. Then I saw it reposted on the popular Facebook opinion/editorial outlet, I Fucking Love Science. If course, they added some negative bias to the title. The original article started with an association of people with lower intelligence being able to grasp profound language being used. Then it was turned into something like stupid people are more likely to believe profound bullshit. This is an epic fail in my humble opinion. As scientists, aren’t we supposed be unbiased? Isn’t it in our best interest to teach people, not put them down?

Then I saw another article. This one was on Medical Xpress, another trusted source. In this article, scientists found that the human brain is actually wired to understand sentence structures that essentially have no meaning. If I were to say “the effortless difficulty of seeing purple as the sun doesn’t rise,” the brain still has the ability to perceive the structure even though the words don’t make sense. And then I put these two studies together. Without the bias.

When we explain profound ideas, it is natural that the brain puts meaning to them because it is basically analyzing the underlying structure of the message. So rather than insult an audience, wouldn’t it be in everyone’s best interest if we were able to use this technique to teach scientific topics? Seriously, how are people who consider themselves smart missing this boat? This is a huge opportunity to teach science and bring even more people into an awareness of advanced topics!

I invite you to share an experiment. If I say we are energy beings, what is your initial response? Is this profound bullshit, or is this worded in such a way that people of any walks of life can understand? If you answered bullshit, I invite you to question yourself and your own blocks. Because this is an absolute truth we know by quantum physics. What are we made of? Cells. Molecules. Atoms. What are atoms made of? Protons, neutrons, and electrons. Quarks and leptons. What are these made of? Vibrating strings maybe? What is a vibration? Energy. And what holds these subatomic components together? Electromagnetic force, gravity, weak, and strong nuclear forces. What if there was a single underlying energy of these forces? This is in fact, the holy grail of physics. Top physicists are seeking answers to these questions. And now, notice how effortlessly we can come to an understanding of this complex process with a simple explanation that we are, in fact, energy. Yes, it’s that simple!

This is the power of communication on science. Yet, in academics, communication is used as a tool to show off fancy language to impress other peers with credentials in scientific journals (my bias is present here). In my opinion, this is self-serving and requires interpretation for the information to be disseminated to others. Yet we have the power within to communicate, if only we can see from a different perceptual position allowing us to observe without bias.

Bias is the killer of communication. And it’s all too present among the scientific community and the media, unfortunately. Every chance to communicate topics of disagreement with the public, or even politicians, results in bias. For example, let’s look at the debate over climate science. If someone disagrees with the majority, they are labeled as ‘climate change deniers.’ Even if they are presenting data that might actually help, others seem to jump to name calling and public disgracing. As a result, we may still be missing knowledge still to be learned.

I have observed the same effect with people being labeled ‘anti-vaxxers’ over vaccination concerns, even if people are for vaccinations but against the use of mercury. If “Scientists” argue that levels of mercury used in the past or present are safe, they are mistaken. In science there are no safe levels, only acceptable risk. Know the bias by the language people use.

So in this new light and state of awareness, what more can we do to improve communications to enhance our current understanding with an even greater audience? Notice how effortlessly we can incorporate better language skills to help others learn the topics we wish to communicate. Wouldn’t it be in the best interest of all, for the highest and best good of humanity and the planet, to be able to clearly communicate scientific ideas?

Let’s future-pace as we see ourselves integrating better language skills that allow us to debate without bias. How do we see our near future when presenting findings of climate change to those who, in the past, didn’t understand it? What more are we learning from the process as we become better teachers, and how is this going to be integrated further ahead in the future for the healing of the planet? How else can we serve humanity not only by preventing disease, but also integrating the most ecological and ethical practices with respect to what we put into the bodies of infants? Notice how easily people are willing to vaccinate once they are assured that the institutes are using the absolute best practices in the near future. And as we look ahead, let us come into a place of realization that with fewer people getting sick, it was only a misunderstanding that was easily fixed with better communication.

Now who’s ready for a bonus advance teaching? This article uses neurolinguistic programming, an advanced language tool to 1) bridge the gaps between schools of thought, 2) simplify the topics to become easier to understand, and 3) integrates the teachings subconsciously, increasing our awareness of bias or effective combination. I invite us all to come to a greater understanding of science, because after all, science at its heart is about effective communication. And doesn’t it feel great coming into a state of awareness and consensus?

Thank you! This is how I science!
=D

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