Challenges involved in Communicating Health Science to rural India

Women still pray and bargain with God to bear a male child We are in the 21st century when research in health and medical science has reached new heights. Newer technologies are abundant but health care for the rural population in India needs to become simpler and offer practical health solutions. The rural-urban divide poses…

Storytelling: the importance of truth and a good ending

Last night I watched a film called The Factory, which was released on DVD in 2013, fully five years after the completion of filming and following a very limited theatrical release in late 2012. The film fits squarely into the crime-thriller genre and supposedly is “based on actual events.” Without giving too much away, it…

The Public Communication of Science and Technology

The premiere conference for science communicators is the biennial PCST Conference, which this year was held in Dunedin, New Zealand, from 3 – 6 April. The initials PCST stand for “Public Communication of Science and Technology.” Ironically, however, the public is typically excluded from the PCST Conference events, which are aimed at researchers and practitioners…

Is Writing Becoming an Irrelevant form of Communication?

It takes a lot of confidence to call yourself a writer. I had published several books and won a handful of awards before I dared to put my occupation down as “writer” on any form. It was a seminal moment in my life, one that I remember well: the first time I let myself believe…

Come to Middle Earth for PCST 2018

For my sins, I am the Chair of the Local Organising Committee for the PCST (Public Communication of Science and Technology) Conference, 2018. This is the largest and most significant international meeting of science communicators and it occurs every two years. From 3 – 6 April, it shall be held in New Zealand for the…

Let’s Communicate Science with Football

Today I watched the magnificent Tom Brady lead the Patriots to a win in the American Football Conference Finals over the Jaguars and gain yet another berth in a Super Bowl. It was a remarkable game that the Jaguars could easily have won – probably should have won – were it not for the Tom…

Narrative and Video: untapped possibilities for science communication

The way we communicate or, rather, consume media has changed drastically in just the last few years. Online video on-demand is where things are at. However, even though consumption rates are through the roof, the amount of video available online is daunting. As is often the case for science communicators, it becomes a question of…

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon: natural wonder of the world. I’ve been there a few times now and the sight of it never fails to stop me. Stop me dead in my tracks, overcome by its immeasurable size and layered, many-coloured, beauty. It seems to me that I even stop breathing because there is simply no breath…

Time to Stand Up

Where to start? I’m 63. I have a title: the Stuart Professor of Science Communication. But what does it all mean? I started my professional life as a scientist, as wedded to the notion of a testable hypothesis as any human can be. Earlier, as a boy, I had been drawn to science by some…