Mumbai

No fun in intimidating reader with jargon: nuclear scientist

Straight talk: The professionals who spoke at an event to discuss trends in science journalism and communication at Mumbai University on Monday.

Straight talk: The professionals who spoke at an event to discuss trends in science journalism and communication at Mumbai University on Monday.  

Dr. A.P. Jayaraman says it is important to speak common man’s language when talking about science

When communicating about science, doing away with jargon is the best approach, said nuclear scientist Dr. A.P. Jayaraman on Monday. He was speaking at an event to discuss trends in science journalism and communication at Mumbai University.

“There is no fun in intimidating the reader with jargon. If you know your subject, you can speak without jargon. The first principle is to try to speak the common man’s language,” Dr. Jayaraman said.

“Scientists are poor communicators. Therefore, communication technology should be taught to scientists and researchers,” said Dr. Jayaraman, who is the chairman of the National Centre for Science Communicators, which had organised the event along with the Mumbai chapter of the Public Relations Society of India. Dr. Jayaraman has been a part of the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad, a people’s science movement of Kerala, for the past 55 years.

“More universities should offer science communication as a degree course. Universities and vice chancellors should know that science communication is the field of the future. The field of journalism too should become increasingly absorbent of science journalism,” he said.

Sawpnesh Kumar Malhotra, former head, division of public awareness, Department of Atomic Energy, said the phenomenon of organisational perception management is not new. “Efforts to protect and manage positive images, identities or reputation of organisations can be found in historical accounts of the Roman Catholic Church and the universities of ancient Greece,” he said.

Mr. Malhotra said the public concerns about nuclear power range from its safety, cost, highly radioactive and hazardous nuclear waste. “But nine out of the 17 sustainable goals are touched by atomic energy. People have to be told that atomic energy is needed very badly. Communication is thus crucial.”

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 10:36:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/no-fun-in-intimidating-reader-with-jargon-nuclear-scientist/article30787455.ece

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