So I saw a comment over at Adventures in Ethics and Science (which is, by the way, a killer blog. If you don’t read it, you should).
In my experience, it does come down to a choice for parents of which authority to trust. No matter how hard I tried, as a young parent I could not evaluate the medical literature, and I didn’t get explanations from doctors. The sources that explained things simply and at my level of understanding came primarily from the CAM camp.
I read several Science blogs daily. I’ve improved my understanding of the vaccine issue as well as ID/Creationism vs evolution, probability theory, marine biology, the Monty Hall problem, microbiology, academic ethics and many other subjects, but I cannot assess a scientific study for myself. I’m grateful to Orac and Steve Novella, among others, that they often assess studies for me. As thrilled as I am to have had this resource, when I recommend blog posts to friends they don’t read them, because the posts are too long and use language the reader is unsure of. I don’t think most science bloggers have a clue as to what knowledge and thinking skills the general public have at their command.
Parents, especially poorly educated parents, especially parents who are not scientists or medical professionals, especially average parents, need to know whom they may trust.
It was in reference to Autism’s False Prophets, which is a book that I hope to be reading soon, (as soon as I get my hands on it, anyway). But the point is the same no matter what the topic. It makes me very worried that, with all my heavy sci-talk, I’m becoming unintelligible to those with whom I want to communicate. After all, I’m in science all day, every day, and it’s hard to remember sometimes that there are people who don’t know what a synapse is.
So I wanted to throw a a few questions out there: Is my stuff often difficult to understnad? What can I do to make myself better understood? Fellow bloggers, what have you done? Short of making every single post very long and full of tons of explanations, I am not really sure how to proceed. And I really want to to the word out about all the cool science that is out there. I would love some advice!
Filed under: Synaptic Misfires |