Connecting Science and Communication for the Masses with Lauren Robertson, Ph.D.

Connecting Science and Communication for the Masses with Lauren Robertson, Ph.D.

How do you talk about science in a manner that engages the general audience? For so long, scientists have been separated from the public through confusing dogma and research papers that do not translate well to everyday life. Public opinion and policies depend heavily on scientific studies, and people are drawn to those who can relay scientific information to them in an honest, clear, and understandable language. Because when scientists communicate well, the world tends to stop and listen to what they have to say as policies and procedures are affected by new discoveries and ideas.

Lauren Robertson, Ph.D., is a Worldwide Medical Ph.D. Post-doctoral Industry Fellow at Biogen, where she uses digital strategy and science to connect with findings in clinical studies and take charge of digital projects in response to high priority Biogen assets. She is also currently a Science and Media consultant at iQ360 Inc., a PR communications and digital reputation management firm. where she developed and sourced original scientific content for social media posts along with interviews with leading academic scientists. 

She previously served as Program Coordinator at Emerson College for the innovative Ask for Evidence public awareness campaign about the need to question the credibility in sourcing and public information related to science. Lauren also taught students and selected faculty at Emerson College about the best ways to incorporate the evidence-based curriculum into their classrooms and manage the artistic design and promotion of Boston subway ads related to the Ask for Evidence campaign. She has also served as a research assistant and lab manager at Harvard University where her work included performing independent research on calorie restriction and surgical stress relevance while managing the daily operations and ordering of the lab. Lauren has authored three publications, two of which she was the first author while at the lab.

Lauren Robertson, Ph.D., received her doctorate in Philosophy and Biological Sciences from Harvard University and she received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government with a minor in Spanish from Smith College. 

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of When Science Speaks 

  • Lauren Robertson, Ph.D., talks about the factors that attributed to her interest in public and science and how these fields interact with each other
  • Lauren shares her insight on how world facts can change the narrative we have sympathized with on sociological and economic levels
  • How saying yes when taking on a new path and being willing to build connections allowed Dr. Robertson to move from one field to another
  • Lauren discusses the different ways to tailor scientific content in a digestible and interesting way
  • How communication is iterative and is dependent on preparatory work and why it’s a prerequisite for building understanding and trust within a community
  • The power of science and its ability to change and improve government policy and in shaping public opinion
  • Lauren shares her tips and strategies for making science relatable and understandable without sacrificing accuracy
  • Why are scientists having difficulty in communicating to the general audience and why is it important for politics and society

Connect with Lauren Robertson, Ph.D.

Utilizing Facts for Impactful Scientific Narratives

Facts govern our society and help us to connect to others despite having differing opinions on certain issues. We rely on facts in order to address the discrepancies that we see in how information is absorbed and understood by the general public, encompassing socioeconomic backgrounds, cultural standards, and other factors that affect public perception and policy. Whatever platform you decide to utilize, it is imperative for science and politics to find a common ground so that society can benefit from studies and policies that come from these two fields. 

Lauren Robertson, Ph.D., aims to equip scientists with the right ventricular to connect with the general public. While scientists may have the research that effectively backs up their claim, giving just the essential and relatable facts is not something they are taught. Dr. Robertson has seen the need for scientists to be able to communicate effectively in an engaging manner so that their findings can help assuage fears, uncertainty, and misunderstanding of scientific findings that impact everyday living.

Saying Yes to Exploration and Building A Community

What makes you say yes to opportunity? How do you know if a particular event in your life will push you forward and closer to where you need to be? People are offered different opportunities each day and while it can be overwhelming, choosing to say yes to opportunities can open gateways for you in fields that you wouldn’t have considered entering otherwise. By saying yes, you allow yourself to explore possibilities that can help you determine which future is right for you.

Lauren Robertson, Ph.D. learned for herself the power and opportunities that come with saying “yes”. She explains that while not all doors that have opened for her were meant to make her stay, it has allowed her to learn things that helped her in the fields that she has decided to be a part of. It was through the opportunities that she said yes to that she learned the importance of interaction and communication and how these play a vital role in different aspects of society. She realized that her method of communicating her research finding was ineffective and often confused the individual rather than enlightening them on the subject. She found out that if we are to bridge gaps in society and properly address issues, the way facts and studies are communicated should be given importance.

Learn more about Lauren Robertson, Ph.D., on this week’s episode of When Science Speaks.

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