The talk with Karen Bidwell on press releases and media relations really highlighted the importance of bridging the academic and public sides of science. From my perspective (at the start of the course) communication of modern science is a frustratingly patronising process. However having constructed my own press release I found it highly rewarding to not only summarise the key scientific points in a succinct and accurate way but to grasp material at a level good enough to essentially teach it, to quote Einstein “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”.
A key point in proactive media is to purvey your fascination in the subject in order to attract interest that so many recent developments deserve; this for me is the key goal of scientific communication. The age old stigma often instilled in children at a young age that science is for dusty old men is a constant source of discouragement for people to get into science.
This is one reason why I myself first expressed an interest in science communication, as Karen pointed out, agreement between “boffins” carrying out the research and journalists communicating it to the general public is not always plain sailing as the divide between cutting edge science is lost in technicalities that smother all the intrigue from the discoveries. While sensationalist reviews are undeniably worse, I am definitely looking forward to walking the middle path and believe being a student puts me in a unique position to do so.