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

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

[enBio=Richard leads the US and Canada Research and Development Operations team and Canada Sustainability strategy at 3M Canada. Throughout his career, Richard has held several executive positions across graphics, industrial, safety and energy business groups bringing more than 30 years of experience across the North American market. As the Sustainability Lead, Richard oversees the sustainability framework strategy and commitments directing efforts to areas of biggest impact, with innovation at its core for employees, customers, partners, and the community. Richard is also a board member for the Canadian Consumer Specialty Product Association and 3M Canada, an active member for the Conference Board of Canada and The Lab at Innovation North – helping drive new creative solutions for advancing sustainability for businesses and the community at large. Richard holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Sciences and Chemical Engineering from the University of Sherbrooke.],[enJob=Director, USAC Research and Development Operations and Canada Sustainability Leader, 3M Canada],[frBio=Richard dirige les activités de recherche et de développement aux États-Unis et au Canada ainsi que la stratégie en matière de développement durable au Canada. Tout au long de sa carrière, Richard a occupé plusieurs postes de direction dans les secteurs d’activité des graphismes, d’industrie, de sécurité et de l’énergie apportant plus de 30 ans d’expérience sur le marché nord-américain. En tant que leader du développement durable, Richard supervise la stratégie du cadre de développement durable et les engagements en orientant les efforts vers les domaines ayant le plus grand impact, l’innovation étant au cœur de ses préoccupations pour les employés, les clients, les partenaires et la communauté. Richard est également membre du conseil d’administration de l’Association canadienne de produits de consommation spécialisés et de 3M Canada, un membre actif du Conference Board du Canada et The Lab chez Innovation North – aidant à concevoir de nouvelles solutions créatives pour faire progresser la durabilité pour les entreprises et la communauté en général. Richard détient un baccalauréat en sciences appliquées et en génie chimique de l’Université de Sherbrooke. ],[frJob=Directeur général, leader des activités en recherche et développement États-Unis-Canada et du développement durable au Canada, 3M Canada]

Profile Photo of Richard Chartrand