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I am so proud of my first paper as corresponding author! And on a topic I am SURE I'll work on for the rest of my life: the need to #SciComm in languages other than English! It was so fun working with @mcmsharksxx on this! 👇 #ComunicaCiencia 1/n…
Before I start on this thread, I want to thank the team @FrontiersIn, our editor @mufferaw, and our reviewers @sabahzero and Rakeb Tesfaye for helping us turn an honestly mediocre manuscript into a much more thoughtful opinion. I love it when #PeerReview works! #SciComm 2/n
The #COVID19 pandemic has highlighted many inequities including the lack of #SciComm in languages other than English. We wrote this before the pandemic hit and it's been sad to see much of what we speak of in this paper reflected in real time. 3/n
English dominates scientific publishing (80% of all journals in SCOPIS are published in English), scientific journalism in traditional mass media, and heck, even within #SciComm in social media. This happens when you Google the word "science" in 11 languages 4/n
While the use of a single international language of science facilitates the dissemination of knowledge across national and cultural boundaries, the English language often acts as a gatekeeper to scientific discourse. #Scicomm #MultilingualSciComm 5/n
Facing the biggest existential threats to humanity (like #COVID19) requires understanding and support of science at a global scale. But the primary use of a single language has created barriers for those who are non-native English speakers. #SciComm #InclusiveSciComm 6/n
Because of the way science currently works, most scientists feel a LOT of pressure to publish their papers and present their work in English. Similar pressures in newsrooms contribute to the dominance of English in journalism. #SciComm #InclusiveSciComm 7/n
Not knowing English limits access to scientific info. Learning a language is not always feasible; many do not have access to the resources needed to learn a new language. See this awesome analysis in 🇨🇴 by @Valeria_RamCas! #SciComm #InclusiveSciComm 8/n
Science's language bias extends beyond printed words. It manifests in how #science is reported in mass + social media, in the researchers represented in the media, and often in the lack of contact between communities and their local scientists. #SciComm #InclusiveSciComm 9/n
We know that #SciComm in the native language of a target audience yields greater participation and leads to stronger connections to concepts in the native culture. @LizNeeley has also taught me that sharing identities with your audience REALLY matters. #InclusiveSciComm 10/n
Even more importantly: societies NEED to be scientifically literate to make informed choices on science-related policy issues AND considering basic science is financed by govt funds in most places, tax-paying citizens have a RIGHT to access/understand it #SciComm 11/n
So what do we do about this massive problem? We propose multiple recommendations in our piece and I'm sure there are many others that could/should be implemented. This is just a starting point for discussion. For more detailed descriptions, read our paper 🙃 SciComm 12/n
1. For scientific journals: Translate research abstracts and articles to make them available in other languages. Open access policies also help even the scientific playing field #SciComm #InclusiveSciComm 13/n
2. For media in English-speaking societies: Highlight scientists working in settings where English is not the native language to ensure more backgrounds are represented. I love @ligaze's work with @ForbesScience. #Scicomm 14/n
3. For media in societies where English is not the native language: Increase local science coverage. PLEEASE stop relying so much on translated press releases! @agencia_bori is doing a GREAT job in Brazil connecting scientists & journalists #SciComm 15/n
4. For everyone doing #SciComm: create culturally relevant content. I adapt my weekly #MicrobeMondays and #MicroMartes posts to fit each audience. @AstroSibs is a South African expert doing this in Zulu. #InclusiveSciComm 16/n…
5. Train scientists and communicators to engage with & relate to diverse audiences. This really has to be done at local levels and trainers can borrow ideas from wonderful initiatives like @Reclaiming_STEM, @InclusiveSci, @storycollider, @thebiotaproject & more. #SciComm 17/n
6. Encourage + support STEM students and professionals to talk about their work in their native tongue. It's really important for our personal/prof. development. Orgs doing a GREAT job at this include @CdeC_Col, @caminosciencia, the Imagine Project in Brazil. #SciComm 18/n
7. Use the ubiquity & accessibility of social media platforms to reach a wider diversity of audiences. @mcmsharksxx and I already do this, but LOTS more are. Examples from YouTube @CienciaSumerce (Spanish), @manualdomundo (Portuguese) & @salmanahameed (Urdu). #SciComm 19/n
8. Create communities where #scicomm-ers in different languages can interact with one another. One could think about Facebook groups like @theSTEMsquad or Slack channels like @joesbigidea's and hashtags like #Comunicaciencia (Spanish) or #WissComm (German) 20/n
To finish, 3 caveats: (1) @mcmsharksxx & I are Spanish speakers so our examples are biased. Share your own in other languages! (2) This list isn't comprehensive, do add your own ideas. (3) We realize we're hypocrites. We're working on translations of this article. #SciComm 21/n
Before we end, I also want to thank @CornellFellows. Without my stipend from the fellowship, it would have been very difficult to afford the publication fee for this article. These fees btw are also a BIG barrier to publishing in many non-English speaking nations. #SciComm 22/n
We hope this Opinion inspires you to think more deeply about #MultilingualSciComm & the burden non-native English speakers bare. We also hope it might motivate you to make some changes at your institutions/journals or to dive into #InclusiveSciComm. 23/n
We also hope it sparks new discussions around developing effective strategies for #multilingual and #inclusive outreach efforts to #SciComm and #SciEngage formally and informally. The future of the scientific enterprise worldwide depends on it. 24/24…
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