Growing up, I loved sitting next to my dad every Sunday to watch the news program “60 Minutes.” My favorite stories focused on science and research. Even though I was only a kid, I understood the science in the stories and felt captivated by the research’s impact and connection to areas in life or around the world I could relate to. Through these stories, I realized that portraying science through a narrative simplifies the concepts and keeps the topic entertaining. However, most of the general public does not understand the science behind current issues, leading to misunderstandings that reduce the influence of science in public policy.
A divide between the public and the scientific community continues to grow due to poor communication, leaving people uninformed about scientific findings. The lack of communication increases public skepticism towards science, leading to a political climate that lacks a scientific influence. As a result, politicians enact policies that minimize the impact of scientific research on evolution, public health, climate change, and other issues.
I believe the solution starts with the general public. Effective science communication can help rebuild the public’s trust in the scientific community. Stories make topics feel more relatable, which helps explain complex concepts. If the general public becomes more aware of the science behind current issues, trust in the scientific community may rise, which I hope will encourage politicians to consider scientific findings when creating policies.
I recognize that constructing a simple, interesting story about complex science is no easy task. That’s why I joined the science communication lab as a writing intern. In the lab, I hope to develop my storytelling and writing skills while connecting with researchers at the University of Minnesota. The lab’s mission to share the stories of research conducted at the university aligns with my desire to improve public policy through stories that will educate the general public.