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The Art and Science of Science Communication ! Some Queries !!

The new genre of science communication is flourishing now a days world over but the question which often haunts my mind is whether this new branch of knowledge is a part of science or falls within the gambit of art faculty ? Many argue that this should understandably be the part of a science curriculam ! But others aptly state that science is the only content here and the way it should be presented/mnifested needs artistic calibre only and call for the age old as well as ingenious methods /skills of communiction and therefore should be categoriged under some mass communication syllabus.The debate seems still unresolved.
Many other salient points of debate seems to be as follows-
1-What way scientists should be involved in the movement of mass communication of science ? If they should be involved at all ? There has been a long tradition of inviting /involving scientists of great repute to communicte their studies and research to lay people by writing articles in magzines like Scientific American and the startegy has worked wonderfully in disseminating scientific knowledge to lay man .This is an apt example which underlines the role of scientists themselves in communicating science to the target audience.Straight from horse mouth !
2-The mass communicators on the other hand oversimplify the scientific content in their public addresses with apprehensions of causing more harm than good.But yes their influence upon the public often remains profound.
3-The spontaneous question which arises now is to what extent a scientist should be taught the art of communication and the skilled communicators be trained a little bit in fundamentals of science.
4.A begenning in this direction should be made with a serious approach and this two pronged strategy be evolved to meet out the growing demands of science communication all over the world.
5-The issue is open for discussion here and your views shall be very much appreciated .

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Comment by Dr.Arvind Mishra on January 7, 2009 at 3:14
Ok Thanks Rina, let me see when the opportunty come to meet you in person !
Comment by Rina Mukherji on January 6, 2009 at 15:01
I did,Arvind.But I was travelling on work. Anyway, will try to make it next time.
Comment by Dr.Arvind Mishra on January 6, 2009 at 13:00
Quite right Rina ,I endorse your views.Did n't you see my invitation to national discussion on sf in Varanasi?.
Comment by Rina Mukherji on January 5, 2009 at 15:12
A comment on the oversimplification aspect you mention here, Arvind. There is no problem in simplifying the abstruse aspects of any research provided the journalist doing it understands what he /she is about. Don't forget,a newspaper has to reach out to the common man, which in the developing world, can mean the most innocent neo-literate. For this, the communication needs to reach out to him in his own terms. It means identifying the aspects of the research that would be of use to him; or will affect his life most profoundly. It has to be couched in the simplest language, using the simplest terms.........


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