Letters

Peter Gwynne's article ("Can You Promote Science Without Losing Respect?", The Scientist, July 21, 1997, page 1) continues discussion of a critical issue. As he implies, part of the challenge is to get scientists to acknowledge that taking on the obligation of communicating science to the public not only does not diminish their effectiveness as scientists but also can enhance it by demystifying them in the eyes of a nonscientific audience. The article cites the highly visible contributions of a

Robert Lichter
Oct 12, 1997

Peter Gwynne's article ("Can You Promote Science Without Losing Respect?", The Scientist, July 21, 1997, page 1) continues discussion of a critical issue. As he implies, part of the challenge is to get scientists to acknowledge that taking on the obligation of communicating science to the public not only does not diminish their effectiveness as scientists but also can enhance it by demystifying them in the eyes of a nonscientific audience.

The article cites the highly visible contributions of a small number of people who are extraordinarily skilled in this type of communication. But that does not mean that the rest of us can't engage because we feel we don't have their gifts. The challenge is to strengthen these capabilities in scientists at large.

I join with others in suggesting that one way to foster this behavior is to incorporate it into graduate education, when expertise in...

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