“Around two in five (39 per cent) of the public say they usually understand stories about science that they come across in the news, and a further half (50 per cent) say they only understand them sometimes. Just 13 per cent of those who say they usually, or sometimes understand science stories say they feel very confident discussing them with others.”
Wellcome Trust, Public Views on Science and Health, 2016
Scientific research is being conducted on an increasingly expanding front, covering more diverse areas of investigation and requiring greater regulation and governance. This regulation and governance should reflect the views of the wider public and not just that of the scientific community.
To achieve this, there must be a two-way engagement facilitating both increasing awareness, accessibility and clarity of research but also the alignment of the values of scientists and policy makers with those of the wider community.
With this national and global challenge as the central ethos, the Science Section would like to initiate a column competition.
Each week, we will be accepting submissions of any concepts, processes or ideas relating to science to technology that you find interesting, confusing, or challenging in some way.
Our aim will be to publish an explanation in 300 words or less using non-technical language to be judged by an impartial, random, but most importantly willing, patron of a Brighton drinking establishment.
If our explanation is incorrect, unaccessible to the public, or if we go over our self-imposed word limit, we will offer the challenger a free drink in the hope they allow us a second opportunity.
Have an idea for our staff to tackle? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Pub Science”.