Global Planan

Danny Lam: Science Communicator, Traveller, Photographer

Personal Philosophy

20161025_123114-01 Career Goals

In my future career, I wish to be communicating science in such a way that allows me to continue and pursue my love of photography, videography, design and writing. I wish to make content, travel and have inspiring convocations with the publics and scientists.

Belief About science Communication

Science communication is a difficult discipline to define, as it is too multifaceted and draws upon too many different practices, disciplines and ideas; so I will not attempt to do so here.

However, for me, at the core of it, all science communication seeks to empower others. Science communication does this through encouraging societal involvement with science. This societal involvement with science is extremely important. As science itself is a very powerful driving force of society. A driving force that so few people understand well; and it is this lack of understanding that hinders humanities progress. This lack of widespread scientific understanding blocks lifesaving policies, delays action against global concerns and results in prejudice and ignorance.

However, there is still hope. Science communication provide the opportunity for change as it helps to bridge the gap between the science and the non-science worlds. I believe that if society has a better grasp of science than better policies, practices, and decisions will be made; and these changes will benefit all. Science communication, for me, is about trying to enact this change by providing others the opportunity to engage in scientific conversations.

I believe that science communicators attempt to facilitate a complex discussion about science between scientist and non-scientist; with the aim for the conversation to be mutually beneficial to both communities. The conversation allows the publics to be inspired, mystified and enchanted by the things that we scientist too often take for granted. It also providing a platform for the non-scientist to voice their own concerns and understandings to those in the science world. For the scientist it provides the opportunity to better understand the ramifications of their work, gain support and further their own careers.

In an ideal world, the division between the scientific world and non-scientific world would not exist. In such a world all individuals would have a practical understanding of science and thus science would be normalized into the very function of society. In this fictitious world, the scientific view would be considered before every political, social and environmental decision is made; resulting in a more informed decision-making process. It is my personal belief, and hope, as a science communicator, that my work will bring this informed view closer to reality.

Science Communication and Me

For myself personally, I believe that science communication has allowed me to merge two very different passions of mine; art and science. For the majority of my education, I was taught that these two entities, art, and science, were distinct from one another. But science communication has afforded me the opportunity to merge both into a practice that is fun, invigorating and interesting.

It allows me the opportunity to be creative in the way I communicate science. Providing me with the opportunities to pursue my passions for photography, videography, design, performance and writing. Whilst also allows me the opportunity to still interact and play a role in the science world, a world that I love and feel very passionate for.

I hope to continue my work in both the creative and scientific spheres.

How Science Communication Should be Conducted.

This first rule of conduct is formed around two beliefs I hold about science and the public.

  • I believe that science should be accessible to all.
  • I believe that society is made up of multiple publics; different groups and sub-cultures that collectively form the public.

The best science communicators understand that different audiences have different needs, values, and context and that no two audiences are ever the same. As such for the communication to be engaging and effective the communion must cater to the different needs of their different audiences. When I conduct myself in the professional world of science communication I aim to emulate this practice and cater to the different needs, understandings and context of my different audiences. This means that it is important to me, and for me, to understand the context of those I am communicating to, as this is understanding will alter the way I choose to communicate.

My second rule of conduct is formed around two beliefs I hold about information.

  • Information can be liberating but also dangerous.
  • False Information is just dangerous.

As a science communicator, I believe in the furthering societies’ understanding and knowledge of science. As such when I communicate science I only aim to communicate what I know to be factual information. However, I do understand that information can also be dangerous and as such I will avoid communicating any information I perceive to be potentially damaging; for example, when the facts may cause mass panic which may put people in danger.

My final rule of conduct is based upon the fact that the deficit model of communication is too overused and ineffective, in comparison to other models of communication. A good science communicator tries to engage their audience in two-way conversations, and I hope to emulate this in my work.

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