• Question: How would you "help people understand the science"? x

    Asked by katieeandbeccaa to Jo on 14 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Joanna Watson

      Joanna Watson answered on 14 Jun 2010:

      Hi katieeandbeccaa.

      I’ve never done any work with schools before (taking part in I’m a Scientist is my first time) and so I’m not sure exactly what would be in the lessons. I would need to talk to students and teachers and people like Sophia who runs I’m a Scientist to find out what should be in the lessons. Maybe you could help?

      The reason I’ve chosen that as my idea for something to do with the money is that there are always lots of stories in the news about the latest medical findings – usually several every day. Just clicking on the BBC website today I have found headlines like “Taking showers ‘can make you ill’”, “Tea ‘healthier’ drink than water” and “Unhealthy living ‘almost universal’ in Scotland”.

      Sometimes these stories can be quite confusing and seem to contradict each other – and sometimes the journalists make things up or ’stretch’ the truth to make their story more interesting.

      I think it’s really important that people are able to understand these stories and are also able to find out what the truth behind the stories really is. It would be really great if more people knew how to find and understand the original studies that these news stories are based on. A lot of people think that they’re not clever enough to really understand medical research – but I don’t believe that – I think people just need some help with understanding the way studies are done, and with the words that scientists use.

      What do you think of my idea? Do you think it is a good idea?