By Maria Anna van Driel
“There you are, nervously waiting for the journalists to step on your terrain, to invade your work-space and maybe even jump into the darkest corners of your private life. Then they arrive … looking like a pack of hungry wolves, armed with all kind of terrible questions, looking you straight in the eye and impenetrable in what they really think. Microphones and cameras are being unpacked and put into position, and not only the gazing eyes of the cameras are aimed at you…also the strict looks of the Journalist, camera-man and those of the whole world…are aimed directly at you!”
Okay, that scenario would scare the BLEEP out of me too. But we know that you are feeling a bit uncomfortable … nervous and maybe thinking; “Oh my god, they are going to misrepresent everything I say, rip me apart before I am truly death and in the process my research findings!”
As an investigative science journalist I have to say, YES…I am armed with the most diverse questions…which I WILL ask you! YES…I will lay your personality under a magnifying glass, because the general public is eager to know you and the research you are conducting. But NO, I am neither going to rip you nor your research findings to pieces.
Clinically speaking, the aim of a science journalist is not to obstruct the communication bridge but to render very detailed, specific, and often jargon-laden information provided by scientists into a form that non-scientists can understand and appreciate while still communicating the information accurately.
Science journalists are making sure that your ideas are accessible to the general public which is not the same as dumbing it down. Instead, as Einstein said, “Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
Words have power, words are power, words can be your power!
You can inspire a nation and invite people into the wonderland of science.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us make that our goal for 2021 because the world needs you…badly.