The first few pages of Nancy Baron’s book (Escape from Ivory Tower: A Guide to Make Your Science Matter) set the bottom line, the “so what” of why science communication is important and the common cultural clashes tied to the idea of communication, advocacy and policy making. I particularly like her use of the term “agent of change” to assign an important role to scientists who do engage in communicating their science to broader audiences, both as a self- fulfilling role and as a societal role, to give the publics the information they need to make informed decisions or to simply understand the work of science, its true limitations, and also its essentiality.
Do you consider yourself a science communicator? Science educator? Agent of change?
In our group, we have been talking about this needed cultural change in the ways we see and understand learning in various educational landscapes. That to me entails us seeing ourselves as such “agents of change” and committed to become social scientists, who are among the growing body of professionals struggling to become better science communicators. Just as we call for a new cultural of learning, we should also turn attention to the communication processes it entails, in order to contribute to this hybrid space between science discoveries and public perception as a space of accuracy, fruitful dialogue, needed awareness and welcoming changes.
Looking at our growing steps to become important agents in this hybrid space between what we do and what we say, our group will be producing a series of articles in simple but not simplistic language for the International InterpNews magazine starting this fall, tying our various works to the ideal of a change in learning cultures and the role of interpretation in a global education era. It is a commitment to reach a broader audience, to do what we preach and to learn with it. I am proud to be part of this professional community and have valuable opportunities to play the role of an “agent of change”.