Science Sam at 3M: communicating the impact of science.

September 27, 2019 Richard Chartrand

Science Sam at 3M

Our State of Science Index shows that 39% of Canadians would have a greater interest in science if the impact of science was communicated to them in a way that was more relatable. This lack of interest contributes to 32% of adult Canadians being skeptical of science and it is one of the reasons that 25% of Canadians choose not to learn about science.

Could improving science communications be the key to increasing interest in science and inspiring the next generation of young adults to pursue a career in STEM?

We invited science communicator and neuroscientist, Samantha Yammine, to 3M to ask her about her views on science communications and to understand how we as a company and society can increase accessibility to STEM fields.

Encourage two-way conversations with your audience.

Science Sam says that science communication involves starting the conversation about science, whether it’s a highly technical discussion among scientists or to a general audience. It is beginning a two-way conversation that engages the audience. Science communications should inform the audience about what we know and how we can think critically. It is an interactive way of relating scientific findings and theories and highlighting how important science is in our everyday lives.

Science Sam talking to 3M scientists

How does science communications make a difference?

Without science communications, we cannot articulate the importance of scientific research or put the systems in place to help it thrive. Talking about science reinforces the idea that science is all around us and it inspires people to learn more about how they can pursue a career in STEM. When we start a discussion, therefore, we not only ensure that new scientific discoveries continue to be made, but we also inspire the next generation to make a difference that will impact the future.

Help your audience connect the dots between science and applications.

Science Sam makes it her mission to create a friendly and trusting relationship with people as she shares her research and experiences. One of the ways she does this is on social media, where she shares what happens every day inside her lab. Using these types of platforms to discuss science makes it more relatable because they encourage people to get involved and ask questions. However, social media isn’t the only way to communicate science, but there are other effective media such as videos, podcasts, and in-person conversations.

When we communicate the impact of science in this way, it helps raise awareness about the process that goes into important discoveries and advancements and engages the community. All of these platforms make the audience enthusiastic about science and helps to strengthen the culture around science.

Want to learn more?

To learn more about how you can initiate engaging storytelling about science, here’s a toolkit developed by our scientists at 3M.

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Disclaimer: Science Sam is a 3M-sponsored blogger.  The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual.

About the Author

Richard Chartrand

[enBio=Richard began his career at 3M Canada in 1989 and has worked in several executive positions. He currently leads 3M Canada’s technical organisation, including Quality, Sustainability, Product and Health Care Regulatory Affairs, Application Engineering and Environmental Health & Safety. Richard is passionate about the inventions that come out of the gate at 3M and loves to promote innovative thinking and disciplined execution.],[enJob=USAC Research and Development Operations and Canada Sustainability Leader],[frBio=Richard a commencé à travailler à 3M Canada en 1989 et il a occupé plusieurs postes de direction. Il dirige actuellement l’organisation technique de 3M Canada, notamment la qualité, la durabilité, la réglementation des produits et des soins de santé, l’ingénierie des applications, ainsi que l’environnement, la santé et la sécurité. Richard se passionne pour les inventions qui sont mises au point chez 3M et adore promouvoir la pensée novatrice et l’exécution rigoureuse.],[frJob=Responsable des opérations de R et D de l'USAC et de la durabilité au Canada]

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