Overcoming the “Curse of Knowledge” To Effectively Communicate Your Science

Gene Kinney, PhD, president and CEO of Prothena, a global biotechnology company, published a great article in Xconomy earlier this year about the importance of communicating science.

He says researchers need be strategic about how they talk about their work in order to enhance the public’s understanding of science and its impact on society. Using jargon-free language and developing a compelling narrative can help engage an audience and explain the science.

But Kinney acknowledges this is easier said than done. A little thing called the “curse of knowledge” can hurt a scientist’s ability to communicate with those who don’t share their baseline of expertise. Researchers need to cope with the curse and understand that buzzwords within their given field like “novel target” and “in vitro” hold little to no meaning to outsiders. Kinney emphasizes the importance of overcoming this bias and shifting assumptions about an audience’s knowledge base in order to improve scientific literacy.

Overall, scientists must begin to see themselves not only as researchers but also as communicators.

You can read the full article here.

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