Climate change. . . evolution . . . the obesity crisis .. .nanotechnology: These are but a few of the scientific topics dominating the world stage today. Yet discourse surrounding these and other science-based issues is often overwhelmed by controversy and conflicting perceptions, hampering understanding and action.
The continuing challenges facing scientists, professional communicators, and the interested public as they seek to exchange information about science has resulted in a growing area of research—the science of science communication. Investigators are delving into such issues as the role of social networks in how information is disseminated and received; the formation of beliefs and attitudes leading to decisions and behaviors; and strategies for communicating science in a highly-charged, politicized environment.
The National Academy of Sciences is hosting its second Sackler colloquium on this topic to advance a national dialogue about science communication.