I have conflicts with how my science is being presented in the media and to nonprofessionals- sounds familiar?
One of the pushbacks I get the most when I give talks and workshops in science communication, to groups of researchers or students, happens when I explain why in order to avoid a cognitive overload on their listeners’ behalf, they need to be less accurate and hold off some details when they talk about their research.
The responses to this “less is more” claim are diverse, but usually split into "calm and accepting" or "annoyed and resisting", especially when it comes to the media. On my end, I feel there is a pestering inner conflict scientists face whenever they encounter these situations.
On the one hand, they want to be recognized for their work, but on the other hand, “dumbing down” (a term I personally hate) their scientific work makes them cringe!
Just to be clear, I don’t support oversimplification, but I do believe in strategizing and knowing your audience in advance and what they can understand. It is the scientist’s responsibility as well.
How do you feel about it?