People can be divided into three categories: those who love science, those who hate it, and those who don’t give a hoot about it. The latter two categories might have adopted such attitudes simply because science often seems like it’s some kind of unfathomable black magic mumbo jumbo.

To make science more approachable it might be a good idea for researchers to find new ways of communicating with the general public.

Check out: Why Scientists Should Embrace the Liberal Arts





  • vaccine – an antigenic substance prepared from the causative agent of a disease or a synthetic substitute, used to provide immunity against one or several diseases
  • fraud –  a person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities
  • promulgate – promote or make widely known (an idea or cause)
  • jargon – special words or expressions used by a profession or group that are difficult for others to understand
  • numeracy – the ability to understand and work with numbers


Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • What two important yields does science have to offer?
  • What is the resistance to vaccine use a prime example of? What’s the story behind it?
  • Why do many scientific discoveries fail to gain traction with the public? Who, according to the author, is to blame for this?
  • What should scientists do to make people understand what they are doing? What are scientists often guilty of?
  • What is the reason why scientists are reluctant to communicate their ideas and research through popular science media?
  • What can scientists gain through learning humanities? What can non-scientists gain through learning basic numeracy?
  • Can you think of how this article is relevant to communication is business (both internal and external)?


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the correct forms of the words in CAPITAL LETTERS.

When we can’t make headway against ________ INFORM campaigns based on bogus science or political agendas, clearly something more than the ________ ROBUST of our data is at play. To use that ________ CLASSICS line from the Paul Newman movie Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”Scientists need not only to explain much more clearly and ________ COMPEL what we are doing but also to establish on social, cultural and emotional levels why our work is important. We need to respect cultural differences that lead to ________ UNDERSTAND and even fear of science.


Fill in the blank spaces with a(n) or the or leave them blank.

The resistance to vaccine use is a prime example. The supposed link between autism and common childhood vaccines was based on ___ fraudulent research published in ___ British journal The Lancet in 1998. After ___ fraud was uncovered ___ lead author was stripped of his medical license and ___ article was retracted. Subsequent investigations by the Department of Health in ___ U.K. and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in ___ U.S. as well as ___ definitive study published in ___ August 2013 issue of The Journal of Pediatrics have all debunked ___ vaccine–autism link. Yet ___ percentage of ___ parents who delay or forgo immunization of their children has increased alarmingly in ___ recent years and, partly as ___ result, measles, mumps and whooping cough are making ___ comeback.


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