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Science Outreach – Why it matters

On May 3, 2017 I visited Richmond public library for a special outreach event for the general public. It was a rainy day and I had to carry a big box of science demonstrations with me. It was one of the volunteering events I have been involved it since I came to British Columbia almost 15 years ago. I have been volunteering with the Scientists and Innovators in the School organization of British Columbia. As part of my volunteering I visit schools, libraries, other places and show science experiments, talk to children and adults. This takes time, but it also brings a lot of pleasure. You never know what will inspire a child and how their lives will be influenced by you. You also learn from listening to children’s questions. So I am happy to do science outreach, as I am convinced that science outreach matters.

Thus I was happy to read a recent paper in the APS News titled “Science is not just for scientists”. In this paper Rachel Gaal described a presentation by the CEO of the AAAS – Dr. Rush Holt. He spoke about it. He said:

“[Scientists] should switch from communicating the right answer to communicating the right process,” Holt proposed. “[A change] will not be done by asserting the facts, it will be done by empowering people to handle evidence for themselves, no matter their level of expertise. They can demand evidence and make judgments about its value … It’s their job to do it for themselves … Science is not just for scientists”.

Thus while communicating science to the general public we are doing an important thing not only for the general public, but also for the science community itself.

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