The Appeal of Science and Loss of Scientific Interest

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The Appeal of Science and Loss of Scientific Interest

Postby BadgerJelly on November 13th, 2017, 1:31 am 

Strange title, but was meant to grab your attention ;)

I have been thinking about science and public perception of science. What has stuck me is that most of the ground breaking scientists of today are too damn busy doing science!

This may sound like a very silly thing to say, but my point is, as I have mentioned some time ago, there is an extreme lack of science in the "political sphere" (public sphere.)

Given that social media is huge I cannot help but wonder where all the articulate scientists are? Who is the voice on youtube for physics? For chemistry? For astronomy?

I grew up in the UK and I remember programs like The Sky at Night and the personality of Patrick Moore; who no doubt inspired a great number of youths to take an interest in astronomy. Having been searching through youtube very thoroughly of late what really stick out is the fact that nothing much does stick out. Very few established scientists are placing content on youtube and it seems like a huge loss to humanity that they don't. Yes, we can all trawl through various sites online and read scientific papers (this is rather impersonal though.) Would it be too much to ask scientists to push meaningfully into social media simply to inform people about their work (which will otherwise lie gathering dust on some library shelf)?

There are some pretty good lectures on youtube (and some excellent ones), but I am still quite shocked at how few there are and/or how badly titled and accessible they are.

Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1x9lgX8GaE

Around 10 mins and nothing but fluff, thanks to Bobs and Susans, some drivel about the institution ... and note there are no time tags in the description so you can just skip to the meat of the talk or pull out certain parts you are particularly interested in.

Basically I am asking are the scientists of today too distanced from world media to understand how to use it efficiently and how to create mass public interest?

I should add that some of the best lectures are over 5 years old. Finding new content is particularly difficult. I really think scientists at the head of their respective fields should be self-advertising. Lectures should be given that are not made purely for people in the room who cannot simply "turn-off", although many probably do anyway! haha!

Why is it so hard to find a set of lectures where the professor simply states the course, the subjects that will be covered and get right to it? So many ramble on for no reason, they are simply awful speakers and lack any motivational capacity.
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Re: The Appeal of Science and Loss of Scientific Interest

Postby wolfhnd on November 13th, 2017, 2:21 am 

It's a pretty new media, maybe it just needs time.
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Re: The Appeal of Science and Loss of Scientific Interest

Postby zetreque on November 13th, 2017, 2:26 am 

BadgerJelly » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:31 pm wrote:What has stuck me is that most of the ground breaking scientists of today are too damn busy doing science!


Something I have noticed and thought about myself. There is truth to that. In order to do something great, requires solitude, hard work and concentration. The price is loss of social life. I recall starting a threat similar to this a long time ago about how science can be a lonely life. The more you learn, the harder it is to communicate to those who haven't learned what you have. You then become a teacher or educator. That requires additional skills.

Another problem is perhaps a lot of scientists are anti-social. It was mentioned a few times at my college that science majors often had a hard time making valedictorian types of status because they aren't the socialites of the school. I am often impressed by scientists who are wonderful lecturers. Talented in learning, doing, and speaking professionally communicating well.

There are a lot of great lectures and science channels on youtube and education platforms like Khan Academy.

Scientists are often too busy doing, researching, and working second jobs or supporting a family to bother with outreach, or even participating in a wonderful online science forum. That unfortunately leaves science communities vulnerable to a lot of ignorance and trolls which further pushes professionals away.
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Re: The Appeal of Science and Loss of Scientific Interest

Postby zetreque on November 13th, 2017, 2:29 am 

Is science one of the loneliest industries?
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=27875
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Re: The Appeal of Science and Loss of Scientific Int"erest

Postby Braininvat on November 13th, 2017, 10:38 am 

Given that social media is huge I cannot help but wonder where all the articulate scientists are?



David Eagleman (neuro)
Brian Cox (physics)
Michio Kaku (")
Brian Greene (")
Neil DG Tyson (astronomy, cosmology)
Michael Stevens (general science - creator of "Vsauce" channel on youtube)
Max Tegmark (math, AI, Singularity, physics, cosmology)
Richard Dawkins (ungodly heathenism!)
Larry Krause (cosmology, physics)
VS Ramachandran (neuro)
Jared Diamond (anthropology)


Just a few science people, off the top of my noggin, who have done various video presentations (books, too), many on youtube. I left out Bill Nye because I'm not sure he has actually worked as a scientist, but maybe he should be included.
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Re: The Appeal of Science and Loss of Scientific Int"erest

Postby BadgerJelly on November 13th, 2017, 12:59 pm 

Braininvat » November 13th, 2017, 10:38 pm wrote:
Given that social media is huge I cannot help but wonder where all the articulate scientists are?



David Eagleman (neuro)
Brian Cox (physics)
Michio Kaku (")
Brian Greene (")
Neil DG Tyson (astronomy, cosmology)
Michael Stevens (general science - creator of "Vsauce" channel on youtube)
Max Tegmark (math, AI, Singularity, physics, cosmology)
Richard Dawkins (ungodly heathenism!)
Larry Krause (cosmology, physics)
VS Ramachandran (neuro)
Jared Diamond (anthropology)


Just a few science people, off the top of my noggin, who have done various video presentations (books, too), many on youtube. I left out Bill Nye because I'm not sure he has actually worked as a scientist, but maybe he should be included.


I wasn't talking about "pop science". Have been watching Stanford University and Sapolsky. That guy is VERRRY good. Tons on information compressed into a small space, and very watchable (only half-way through his stuff and excited to watch a new lecture everyday). I really like a lot of Jordan Peterson too, but I'm into Jung so not to everyone's taste I expect.

I guess what bothers me most is I can find lectures on many different subjects, but they're usually single lectures not a series of lectures. I don't want to keep listening to the same thing over and over, which happens a lot. One example is "Linguistic Anthropology".

It looks like many youtube channels dealing with these things are new to the medium. Khanacademy is okay, but its not really a great format.
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