Every time I’ve started a module in university I have asked myself the same question, Why? A sort of tribute to Mindy, from ‘Pinky and Brain’ – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtM4vxOU2jk
The difference was, upon starting off my science communication course, I was asked the same question back by my lecturer. ‘Why?’
Why am I doing science communication? Being a self-diagnosed ego maniac with too many opinions and not enough vocal outlets, the course fits me like a glove. Well that was my first thought but looking into it more I’m slightly unsure. If this was a ‘What?’ or ‘How?’ question (‘What is Science communication?’ or ‘How do we communicate science?’) I could have done an hour long presentation or produced a 5000 word report. But it wasn’t, it was a ‘Why?’question.
In science, many breakthroughs start off with Why? It is a beautiful word that leads us to pursue ideas, yet a word that we want to have answered by the end of all the hard work.
‘Why?’ brings hope to the masses and make a great article about a researcher’s finding– e.g. Knowing Why this happens is such a breakthrough. – Alternatively, it adds a smokescreen and provides uncertainty – e.g. though a breakthrough has occurred, we are unsure to Why this is happening. I guess that’s the beauty of the written word. You can always take the same words and present them as something new.
Who would have guessed that the first question asked would be so challenging.