Why You Should Do Science Communications

There’s this module called Science Communications in my degree and here is why it is unironically great.

Before starting the Science Communications module as part of the requirements for completing my final year Life Sciences degree, I was quite conflicted about needing to do it as an aspiring research-minded scientist.

You do the SciComms module in your final year of a Biology/Biochemistry degree (as they both belong to the Department of Life Sciences) alongside your literature project which is equivalent to your final year dissertation at other universities. At Imperial, there is the advantage of doing a research project alongside your lecturers or other researchers participating in cutting-edge research to make a real difference to the current scientific field rather than working individually or just with your peers. However, since I do the SciComms module, I’ll talk a little bit about why it actually teaches you about necessary transferrable skills for the job market.

According to Wikipedia, “Science communication is the practice of informing, educating, sharing wonderment, and raising awareness of science-related topics” In other words, it is a form of teaching. Teaching is a necessary life skill as bosses or parents or media give you information, in other words, teach you, you teach your friends and colleagues, you eventually teach your partner and children or pets (or just keep teaching yourself, being single is great too there’s less responsibility 😉 )

Speaking of Wikipedia, there’s a coursework assignment that is part of the course involving editing a pre-existing Wikipedia article or writing your own Wikipedia page. The goal here is that you add valuable information so that the article is more accessible to the public besides people in my year of study or above within the field to get more people into science and avoid phenomena such as the Anti-Vax movement and climate change deniers. I also really like it because you interact with other Wikipedia users in the process like you would on Reddit as well as some elements of web design because the coding language Wikipedia articles use is similar to HTML.

P.S. I have quoted Wikipedia here but please remember not to cite Wikipedia in your coursework or exams. Wikipedia is still a useful resource for getting the main points of a topic you’ve recently come across, and the References section can be extremely useful when you use Wikipedia for planning but can’t use the website as a source because it is not peer-reviewed.

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