Engaging the Public: Scientist Involvement

So many scientists think that once they figure it out, that's all they have to do, and writing it up is just a chore. I never saw it that way. Part of the art of any kind of total scholarship is to say it well.

Stephen Jay Gould

Now more than ever, scientists are engaging in public education and outreach projects related to their research. The myriad of public engagement channels allows scientists and members of the public to interact in new and exciting ways.

Historically, however, such engagement activities were not widely viewed as a core responsibility of experts pursuing scientific careers. Instead, outreach programs and public engagement activities have long existed under the auspices of science education and communication professionals, such as museum educators and public information officers.

AAAS and other scientific organizations are encouraging scientists with interest and aptitude to get more involved in activities with a public focus.

Watch the video below of three scientists at AAAS Family Science Days explaining why they think public engagement is important, how they got started, and some advice for those who want to get involved.