Gordin Kaplan award lecture. Building a relationship

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Title Gordin Kaplan award lecture. Building a relationship: science and the community
Author(s) John F. Burka
Journal Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Date 1997
Volume 75
Issue 9
Start page 1039
End page 1043
Abstract An appreciation for the intrinsic relationship that exists among science, scientists, and the public must be established. Both practitioners of science and the public should be made more aware that science is part of everyday life and that the definition of a scientist should be more encompassing. It is generally accepted that the public supports but often does not understand the goals of the scientific community. This is often due to lack of effective communication. The scientific community has accepted accountability to the public and attempts have been made to improve our image. Programs by groups and individuals to interact with the public, particularly school children, have grown. However, there is still a need to expand this area. It is our responsibility to find our niche in science awareness programs as speakers, mentors, or facilitators. Participation in these programs is an essential part of a professional scientist's career and should be encouraged by administration. Interaction with the public improves our ability to explain science in lay terms and the relevance of our work to the community. End points should be established to measure success: not just numbers of students entering 'scientific' careers but also science literacy. Developing this strategy will not only improve the image of the scientific community with the public but also build a lasting relationship where needs and aspirations will be mutually appreciated.

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