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EDITORIAL

The Oxford Dictionary defines science as ‘the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.’

Strange then, that despite its importance and significance to the whole world, people outside of the field of science often view it with distaste or fear. Perhaps this could be attributed to the complex terminology associated with scientific knowledge and need for exact terms and accuracy in reporting results and data.

The communication of science; its theories, discoveries and methods, sometimes become too steeped in jargon, and too dry for the common man, often causing science to be mistakenly pushed into a corner and ignored.

With the opening up of technology, there are more methods of transmission of information, instead of the more traditional options of journals and conferences. Science can make use of social media platforms to drum up interest, as well as use video uploading sites to reach the wider public, even use blogs to write about science in a way that is more accessible.

This ease of transmission comes with a greater need for clear communication; to be able to reach the audience is one thing, to be able to be understood is another. Yet often, the ability to communicate effectively is not something that is built up or concentrated on in young people interested in the field of science. This results in scientists who understand but are unable to convey. In light of this, courses dedicated to scientific communication to train students to become effectual science communicators, to be able to successfully communicate science to the people outside of the field. Some universities have even set up Masters in Science Communication.

In this issue, Dr Sarada Bulchand shares a commentary on the current status and the need for science communication in the country of India, Dr Hwa A. Lim explores science communication through the years and the ongoing search for a scientist who is also an effective communicator and Thomas Danny J. of the Singapore Science Centre gives us a peek into the activities of the Science Centre in their quest to make science interesting and relevant to the everyday man. We also get a chance to speak to Dr Christopher Asplund from Yale-NUS on his thoughts about scientific communication and its importance as well as to Tara Venkatesan, a brilliant young lady who understands the need for effective communication and sharing of knowledge.

Rachel Lim
Editor
Asia Pacific Biotech News

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