I have been reading a lot of Russian kids literature to my daughters. I have read some of these stories so many times, that I remember them by heart (whether I want to or not). Sometimes they pop up in my brain out of nowhere. At other times a real life situation reminds me of them.
Here is a loose translation of how one of these stories starts.
Once upon a time, there was a little Bunny who was friends with a Tadpole. The Bunny lived in the forest and the Tadpole in the pond. Sometimes they would meet by the pond, the Tadpole wiggling its tail and the Bunny drumming with his paws. The Bunny would tell the Tadpole about carrots and the Tadpole would tell him about seaweed. It was fun!– Boris Zahoder
While it does sound like fun, this scene often reminds me of how we scientists often speak a different language, yet expect everyone to understand us. This year has certainly shown how important it is for the general public to understand science.
This diagram makes me laugh… until I remember how many people fall into the 3 latter categories shown here. And how that puts all of us at risk. The same applies to people being afraid of vaccines. Here is a Twitter post from my husband (who is also a scientist). I wholeheartedly agree!
The question is how can we, scientists, get others interested enough to start asking the right questions and digging deeper? I believe that translating science into art can make more people pause and wonder how things work and put in the time to learn more about them. Then, they could actually start trusting science.
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