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15.05.2020

CNS Newsletter Volume 13, Issue 01 "Science Communication" released

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Science Communication

We recently published a new issue of the Charité NeuroScience (CNS) Newsletter, bringing you the latest on Science Communication.

We first floated the combined theme of data visualization and science communication in late 2019, but we ended up choosing another theme we were excited about: music and the brain. At that point, Corona was still just a beer we drank only for reasons of nostalgia and only on a hot summer day, preferably by a lake. The sudden, rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 did not make science communication important; but it has certainly highlighted its importance. To make the findings of science accessible to the public, responsibly, without exaggeration but without understating the point, to communicate clearly to non-expert audiences what can and cannot be interpreted from the results of rigorous research — this turns out to be slightly more complicated than stating a p-value.

As of this writing, in the wake of this pandemic, many people are stuck at home, voraciously consuming an overload of information propagating their screens. A large number of the news stories about the pandemic are based on preliminary, not-yet-peer-reviewed study results. With emotions running high and rumors running rampant, misinformation and pseudo-information spreads faster than the virus itself. However, disseminating useful information in a timely manner remains important.

In this setting, we present to you: scientists on science communication and data visualization. Learn the dos and don’ts of displaying your data properly (p. 10), why it might be important for scientists to do some proactive PR (p. 21) and then see p. 16 for some nice data visualization tools. You can read a non-virus-related piece on medical communication (p. 18). The truth is, our theme came about because we are a big bunch of nerds. Don’t believe me? See our reviews of neurosciency TV, film and books (p. 38, p. 39, p. 57), including classic German childrens’ science shows (p. 28). Wondering how the pros do it? Start with p. 6, p. 8, and p. 24. Up for a longer read? This memoir/opinion piece gives academia a thorough dressing down (p. 41). There is plenty more where that comes from: Browse the rest of our on-theme articles, career and campus sections for our regular sources of wisdom.

We’re excited to introduce our new layout team for this issue: Jana Quismundo and Demi Lee, and the new member of our editor-in-chief team: Lorena Sganzerla. And if your goal is to take your mind of everything, I can assure you that for the rest of this issue, “going viral” refers to something that happens to a cute picture of a dog on social media.

Volume 13, Issue 01

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