The modern scientific paper has not changed in the past two hundred years. New technologies such as high-speed internet allow for embedding dynamic interfaces, audio, video, and other graphics into our scientific communication. And the increasing complexity of scientific protocols and analyses might be best communicated with all these extra modalities. Yet the way we communicate research findings is based on a system created when most people typed manuscripts on a typewriter and mailed physical copies of their manuscripts to editors and reviewers. This has resulted in science communication that relies on written text that is full of jargon and acronyms and is constrained by word, figure, and space limits. The scientific content in journal articles is accessible only to experts, if to them. How can we make science more accessible to a broader public, including non-expert readers from neighboring disciplines, students, and the public with varying levels of expertise? What is the role of graphic design, visual communication, and other ’non-traditional’ modes of scientific communication in our work?
- Spitzer, S. (2018). “Five principles of science communication.” From the SocialScienceSpace blog.
- Khoury, C. K., Kisel, Y., Kantar, M., et al. (2019). “Science–graphic art partnerships to increase research impact.” Communications biology, 2(1), 1-5.
- Hohman, F., et al. (2020). “Communicating with Interactive Articles.” 10.23915/distill.00028; And explore some of the examples. Use the underlined blue text to see how the graphs etc change with different analysis choices (it works better if you ‘switch to distill layout’).
- Chiarella, D., Yarbrough, J., & Jackson, C. A. L. (2020). “Using alt text to make science Twitter more accessible for people with visual impairments.” Nature Communications, 11(1), 1-3.
- A beautiful museum exhibit about neurons and the 2019 Winner of Dance Your PhD.