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Learning science communication from baseball players

4 Mar 2013, 21:17 UTC
Learning science communication from baseball players
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Whether we like it or not, those of us who write about scientific topics (even at a relatively unknown blog like this one) end up being the public face of science. I was reminded of that fact very strongly last week, and I’m still pondering the lessons I learned from the experience.
Here’s the story, briefly: nearly two weeks ago, baseball player Jose Canseco tweeted a few short statements about the nature of gravity in the time of the dinosaurs. Many people wrote snarky comments or even articles about it, mocking Canseco’s conjectures, but did not talk about the scientific substance. (I didn’t check my own Twitter feed, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I wrote something mocking at the time.) However, one of those snarky stories triggered science writer extraordinaire Ed Yong to write a critical response:
This irritates me. It’s a guy laughing at another guy’s silliness. But why’s he wrong? Oh you don’t know/won’t say. pcmag.com/article2/0,281…
— Ed Yong(@edyong209) February 23, 2013
Then I stepped in it: I wrote back to Ed, saying something unfairly derogatory about the publication that mocked Canseco (which I subsequently deleted, with an apology). During the resulting back-and-forth exchange, my friend ...

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