Science communication is the practice of informing, educating, raising awareness of science-related topics, and increasing the sense of wonder about scientific discoveries and arguments. Science communicators and audiences are ambiguously defined and the expertise and level of science knowledge varies with each group. Two types of science communication are outward-facing or science outreach (typically conducted by professional scientists to non-expert audiences) and inward-facing or science "inreach" (expert to expert communication from similar or different scientific backgrounds). Examples of outreach include science journalism and science museums. Examples of inreach include scholarly communication and publication in scientific journals. But science communication is influenced by systemic inequalities that impact both inreach and outreach.
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Science communicators can use entertainment and persuasion including humour, storytelling and metaphors. Scientists can be trained in some of the techniques used by actors to improve their communication. Continually evaluating science communication and engagement activities allows for designing engagement activities to be as resource efficient as possible while also avoiding well known pitfalls.
There is a field of research on science communication that, for decades, had only limited influence on science communication practice, and vice versa, but evidence-based science communication aims to bridge research and practice in science communication.
Science communication may generate support for scientific research or science education, and inform decision making, including political and ethical thinking. Science communication can be an effective mediator between the different groups and individuals that have a stake in public policy, industry, and civil society. This may be especially critical in addressing scientific misinformation, which spreads easily because it is not subject to the constraints of scientific method.
The requirement for scientists to publicise research findings and generate impact has increased in recent years. Research funders have also raised their expectations that researchers will go beyond publication in academic journals to communicate with the public. This has generated interest in using creative methods of science communication such as blogs, infographics, illustrations and comics and board games.