Young academic scientists who want to do their bit for the cause of science by presenting its concepts to nonscientific audiences face a serious dilemma. If they turn out to be effective popularizers, they might find that their peers regard them as shallow scientists.
Senior members of the scientific establishment are trying to persuade their juniors that they can popularize without jeopardizing their careers. But those efforts are only slowly bearing fruit. Doubts remain whether one can truly dazzle a lay audience without giving up at least some professional respectability.
TRAILBLAZER: Carl Sagan's flamboyant style was viewed with disbain by some scientist.