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INTRODUCTION TO SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY STUDIES. SXEX 1411. Week 3. COMMUNICATION. AUTHORITY. In today’s lecture:. Introduction Communication Authority Communicating Science to the Masses Summary. Content. Introduction. Why be a Scientist?. Scientific Field.

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SXEX 1411

Week 3



in today s lecture
In today’s lecture:
  • Introduction
  • Communication
  • Authority
  • Communicating Science to the Masses
  • Summary


why be a scientist
Why be a Scientist?

Scientific Field

Is It Greener than the Other Fields?

Why do people want to be scientists?

Is it because of:



Endless opportunities?

  • The scientific field is a much sought after field.
  • Many want to pursue their studies and subsequently, their careers in the field of science.


what makes a scientist famous
What Makes a Scientist Famous?

Famous Scientists

Why are They Famous?

Is it because of their ideas?

Is it because of their eccentricities?

Is it because of their charisma?

Is it because of their contribution?

Is it because of their legacy?

  • Name some of the most famous scientists in the world (either from the past or the present).
  • Chances are people will be able to name famous scientists from the past compared to scientists from the present, or even local scientists.


what makes a scientist famous1
What Makes a Scientist Famous?

Famous Scientists

  • Can you name them?


what makes a scientist famous2
What Makes a Scientist Famous?

Famous Scientists

Why are They Famous?

We know scientists like Ibn al-Haytham, IbnSina, Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and others because of what they published, and not merely because of what they said.

  • The fact is that scientists who are well-known are scientists who published, and that their published work(s) is/are referenced and cited by others.


what makes a scientist famous3
What Makes a Scientist Famous?

Publish or Perish

Publish and Fluorish

In the scientific world, all discoveries must be published. Scientists will be respected and be regarded as an authority when their works are significant and contribute immensely to their fields of knowledge. For this to happen, knowledge must be communicated through publication.

  • There may have been thousands of other scientists, but they remain nameless because they did not publish, or even if they publish, their works are not referenced or cited.


publishing discoveries
Publishing Discoveries

Point 1

Point 2

The fundamental social institution of science is therefore its system of communication.

The basic principle of science is to make the research findings public.

Scientific discoveries are not regarded as knowledge until they are reported to the world and put on permanent record.

How are discoveries communicated to the public?

Point 3



how are discoveries communicated
How are Discoveries Communicated?
  • A primary scientific communication is an original contribution to knowledge.
  • Normally published as a paper or an article, by a named author or authors.
  • Article or paper is published in a journal or periodical devoted to a specific subject.


archives of knowledge
Archives of Knowledge

These articles and documents constitute an archive.

This is a result of:

An experiment or observation

Definition of a theoretical concept

Tables of numerical data

Mathematical formulae



All of which must be retrievable for further research or for practical applications.


linkage by citation
Linkage by Citation
  • Science is cumulative and progressive.
  • It is built upon previous contributions, whether by extension or by critical reassessment.
  • Every new contribution must make full reference to the facts and theories on which they are based on.


linkage by citation1
Linkage by Citation
  • Scientific work must at the same time be original.
  • The goal of the research is to make discoveries.
  • A scientific paper will usually cite several dozen other papers, often the latest in its field.


what do scientists get in return
What do Scientists Get in Return?

Rewarding a Scientist


Recognition takes many forms.

An academic scientist “does not exist” until his/her work is published in a reputable scientific journal.

However, a published paper is of little signification, until it is cited in papers by other scientists.

  • A fair question to ask is, after making contributions to knowledge, what do scientists get in return?
  • One of the rewards for a scientist is recognition.


  • Research is a demanding career, and often requires specialisation.
  • To gain and keep a place in the scientific community, it is practically essential to concentrate on a very narrow range of problems in a very restricted field within a particular discipline.


don t forget the layperson
Don’t Forget the Layperson

Communication to the Masses


The public does not read journal articles, they also do not understand scientific jargons.

There should be scientists who take the role as “science communicators” in disseminating scientific knowledge using a language that the public understands.

  • While it is true that scientists need to publish in order to obtain a level of authority, it is also imperative that scientists communicate their findings to the masses (general public) who may not understand science as scientists do.

Communicating Science

to the Masses

science communicators
Science Communicators

Science Made Simple

Science communicators should also make science an interesting subject matter when talking to the public. Otherwise, the message that needs to be disseminated will be lost during the communication.

Science Made Exciting

  • Science communicators should be able to explain science in a simple way to the public, doing away with all the scientific jargons, instead using examples that the public can appreciate and understand.

Communicating Science

to the Masses

from this lecture
From this lecture…

Students should be able to:

  • Appreciate the importance of communication in the dissemination of scientific knowledge.
  • Understand why scientists need to publish.
  • Know the different levels of recognition accorded to scientists.
  • Understand what makes make a scientist an authority in a particular subject matter.
  • Realise the importance of science communicators.


thank you for your attention
Thank you for your attention.


Materials in these slides are adopted from

Dr. S.M.SaifuddeenS.M.Salleh