When there’s a gap between what we mean and what is understood, it’s time to think about the words we’re using. This second episode of our new podcast, This Study Shows, explores the ins and outs of jargon, blogging, and rhythm.
Featuring Dr. Martin Glynn, a criminologist and sociologist from Birmingham City University, Science Communicator Sophie Arthur of Soph Talks Science, and Theo Sanderson, a geneticist from The Francis Crick Institute.
This Episode Got Us Thinking:
What’s the future of the language of science?
The way Dr. Martin Glynn uses Data Verbalization to blend data and music—jazz, hip hop, and reggae—feels like the future. Not just because it reaches new audiences by communicating in a way that’s authentic, but because it breaks down the walls between experts and the subjects of research.
The future language of science could be one that is more integrated with the rest of our lives, free from jargon and accessible and intuitive to everyone.
Sophie Arthur would probably agree, especially given the way she writes on her blog Soph Talks Science. To her, it’s just as important to break down barriers and change misconceptions of what a scientist looks like. Her writing style is conversational enough to invite questions and welcome readers in.
Both Sophie and Martin put the audience first when thinking about communicating their research.
Theo Sanderson also thinks about the audience, and how you can still communicate with people who have no idea what you’re talking about. The Up-Goer Five Text Editor is a thought experiment where you have to describe your work using only the ten hundred most common words in English (thousand is not an option!).
Stretching the mind in this way takes communication to the extreme: from jargon-filled research papers to simple but at times profound, sentences.
One thing is for sure: you can’t talk about language without talking about the audience. We’re trying to communicate our research to someone, and we’re doing it for a reason. Whether that reason is to help people tap into their curiosity, to change the world, or to share their stories, it’s all important.
If research is for everybody, then we all need to understand it, regardless of language or expertise.
About the AuthorMore Content by Samantha Green