Scientific communication crisis threatens progress

01/31/2013 | The Scientist online

The science community has long had a reputation for having poor public communication skills, but lately scientists have failed to communicate with one another, writes David Rubenson, Stanford Cancer Institute's associate director for administration and strategic planning. Presentations have become incomprehensible because researchers lack preparation time and large conferences make audience questions difficult to field; the number of scientific publications has exploded; research institutions have expanded; specialization has increased; and funds have declined. "It is up to our scientific leaders at the national institutes, foundations, and academic centers to recognize this problem and realign priorities and goals appropriately," Rubenson writes.

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