Editor's Note: Science communication can be tricky, and rewarding
Communicating about science isn’t always easy. It requires a delicate balance between making the words understandable, while also scientifically accurate and respectful. But it’s certainly rewarding, as people entrust you with telling their stories.
This issue of Futures magazine highlights some of the recent faculty hired with MSU AgBioResearch appointments. These are multitalented folks working across many disciplines to advance agriculture and food production and much more. The issue is also a nod to the next generation of scientists, as you’ll see that many – but not all – of the researchers profiled in it are early in their careers.
Educating and training the next generation of scientists couldn’t be a more important role. If you’re not fully convinced of this, I encourage you to read the interview with Doug Buhler and George Smith, the director and associate director, respectively, of MSU AgBioResearch, on page 47. You’ll learn about the challenges facing the agriculture and natural resource industries ahead.
This theme also brings back fond memories of working on my first marketing campaign for MSU AgBioResearch in 2013. It was titled “changing the face of science” and focused on how our researchers are actually down-to-earth, personable folks who could be your next-door neighbors – not the crazy, off-the-wall stereotypes they are often portrayed as. I remember starting out to do some of my first interviews, worried that I wasn’t a scientist. I wasn’t used to working in academia. I didn’t have a Ph.D. The list went on and on. But as I met these individuals, I realized those things didn’t matter.
Turns out I was pleasantly surprised at how much they valued communications and the work we were doing. I remember how enlightening and refreshing their attitudes were. Today, that feeling of trust remains the same. Maybe even more so. Communicating about science isn’t always easy. It requires a delicate balance between making the words understandable, while also scientifically accurate and respectful. But it’s certainly rewarding, especially as people entrust you with telling their stories and sharing their experiences.
I hope you enjoy this issue introducing some of our newest MSU AgBioResearch faculty appointments, their work and their dedication to improving the future.
This article was published in Futures, a magazine produced twice per year by Michigan State University AgBioResearch. To view past issues of Futures, visit www.futuresmagazine.msu.edu. For more information, email Holly Whetstone, editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 517-355-0123.