#2%20-%20Communication%20%20a%20responsibility%20of%20all%20scientists%20-%20SciDev

#2%20-%20Communication%20%20a%20responsibility%20of%20all%20scientists%20-%20SciDev

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Interacting with journalists can help scientists communicate their research David Dickson EDITORIALS Communication: a responsibility of all scientists David Dickson 31 December 2010 | EN | ES | 中文 The scientific community should commit to communication as an integral part of a researcher's professional role. What responsibility does a scientist have to society? Until recently, replies to this question generally fell into two categories. Those in the 'traditional' camp argued that a scientist served society best by simply carrying out high-quality research, leaving others to judge how it should be used. Set against this, a more activist camp argued that a scientist has a moral responsibility to publicly discuss the social implications of his or her research, not only promoting its benefits but also — more importantly — warning of its potential dangers. Because those in the second camp tend to be more critical of the scientific establishment, the split can appear politically motivated, and has hindered efforts by the scientific community, in developed and developing countries alike, to adopt a consensus position on what role scientists should play. But over the past ten years, judging from public comments made by prominent members of the scientific profession, agreement has grown that all scientists have a responsibility to ensure that the results of their research are effectively communicated to society at large. This promises to bridge the gap between the two camps. A new consensus This commitment is reflected in a potentially influential draft set of guidelines drawn up by the Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science, of the International Council for Science (ICSU). The guidelines were compiled with input from participants in a meeting held last month in Bogota, Colombia, which was cosponsored by the Colombian Academy of Sciences and the National University of Colombia. An "advisory note" from the committee is being circulated for comment among ICSU member organisations. It describes both the opportunities and threats to effectively communicating contemporary science using electronic media, and underlines the challenge of how to convey the complexities and uncertainties. It emphasises the need for better public understanding of how science is carried out, including the importance of the peer review process. And it calls for training in communications to be made a key component of science education. Home
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2012 for the course COM 217 taught by Professor Na during the Fall '11 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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#2%20-%20Communication%20%20a%20responsibility%20of%20all%20scientists%20-%20SciDev

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