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  1. 13 Nov, 2013 9:55 pm

    Folks, let’s have a reality check here. I am a pro marketer/communicator and total brain research geek. For years I have worked to communicate brain science, or any science, in my professional business environment and to educated public. Results have been consistent = aggressive, attacking blow-back.

    I propose that “popular science” is not only a myth but a pernicious one. Communicating real science to an general audience just trigger immediate hostility. Climate change and vaccines are two examples that have already proved deadly.

    At best, there is maybe an interest in policy makers, since they want stuff that works. BY definition, goo science challenges pop culture, ideology and cultural myths, thus, the predictable hostile attacks.

    Time for science communicators to get over their own cherished myths/magical thinking and delusions – STAT! The public demands magical beliefs, not evidence. It seems the nature of animal brains.

  2. 14 Nov, 2013 12:34 pm


    I’m sorry to hear about your experience. Fortunately it isn’t universal. Last March and April the Wellcome Trust funded the Wonder Season at the Barbican in conjunction with the British Neuroscience Association. When I visited I was impressed with the energy and enthusiasm from members of the public for it. As part of that programme we ran a live version of our event and it was enthusiastically received. We wrote up our evaluation here:

    If you want more positive reinforcement have a look at #ias2013 (

    There are over 50 scientists in the UK and Ireland using our site to answer questions from school students. The scientist keep tweeting about the enthusiasm the kids show.

    • 14 Nov, 2013 4:22 pm

      Well, that’s one win. My experience is only in US and I have found the EU, SA and Brits especially more interested. Of course, fundamental christianity dominates public discourse in the US.

      Schoolkids are fine, but we need to reach policy makers, who perhaps are influenced by public. More likely by big campaign funders and lobbyists. So the effective targets are decision makers paying politicians. Again , that is not a public audience.

      What is also missing, paradoxically, are experimental tests of communications tactics, duh

      As a hard headed marketer, and evidenced based all the time, the research I’ve seen says social media has zero impact, except with journalists, and often has negative unintended consequences, e,g, time wasted on hostile weirdos.

      Again, in science communications we should never accept statements without peer-reviewed evidence. That’s the “positive reinforcement” me and my clients need.

  3. 19 Dec, 2013 5:38 pm

    In trying to practice what we preach here are the latest findings from our November event:

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