It is not easy to put pen to paper and produce a piece that engages on intellectual and emotional fronts. This task becomes even more daunting when we consider the communication of science. How does one navigate past jargon and complexity whilst retaining interest? Can one communicate without oversimplifying or trivialising the science? The answer is we can but try and get better with practice.
It’s important for the scientific community to regularly communicate what excites us in science, and also how our research impacts society. As science pushes against the boundaries, no doubt ethical considerations will surface. This is when good communication should come to the fore to inform and facilitate debate. Isaac Asimov, the prolific science fiction and popular science author, characterised this best when he remarked: “The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom”. This statement highlights the importance of cultivating a scientifically literate society that makes policies and decisions based on a sound understanding of the issues in science.
To facilitate this, Science Centre Singapore and the Asian Scientist magazine have come together this year to organise the Asian Scientist Writing Prize which also has a Youth Prize component. The inaugural Asian Scientist Writing Prize aims to grow a pool of writers and science communicators who can engage and provoke continued dialogue with a diverse audience. It’s great then to see that the very first year received a wealth of participants from many walks of life and interests. It gives us then great pleasure to introduce the work of Kate Tan, the winner of Science Centre Singapore’s Youth Writing Prize 2015. In the next blog, you will read Kate’s dissection of whether race matters in healthcare and medical research. The Centre will continue to work with our youth and scientific community to keep them engaged with not just the doing of Science but also its communication. Stay tuned for more interesting pieces from us.