Scientific Literacy 101

Let's understand how the scientific system works


Playlists: 'rc3' videos starting here / audio

This year saw a major invasion of scientific work into the center of public attention. Scientific results came hot of the press and into the news cycles. For many people, this sudden impact of scientific language, culture and drawing of conclusion clashed with their every day world view. In my talk, I want to prepare the audience for the next wave of scientific influx and help them to get a systemic understanding of academia. How do scientists work? What are the funding and career structures? How do we do science? And, most importantly, how do we do science better?

When we talk about scientific results, we assume most of the time that everybody knows how the scientific system produced them. This assumption can be problematic. The communication of risk and uncertainty, for example, varies greatly between the scientific community and society. A misunderstanding of science, scientific language or scientific publishing can lead to very wrong ideas about how things work.
In this talk, I want to give a beginner friendly crash course on the scientific system. How does one get into science? Who pays for everything? What is scientific uncertainty? How does a scientific paper work? How can we address issues like bias and lack of diversity in science?

I am an eager science communicator, who worked in the past in in molecular biology research and has since left active research to communicate science to the public. My goal is to share my view on the inner workings of science with more people to help them to become more science literate – and ultimately to be able to critically assess communication from researchers, institutions and PR companies. At the end of my talk, I want the audience to have a better understanding not only about the results of research but also the research process. We can only understand and interpret scientific results if we understand how they came to be.


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