Public Science

"The public has the right to know, and the duty to ask; scientists have the responsibility of telling." -- Anne Sayre in Rosalind Franklin and DNA.

"Those who tell the stories rule the world." -- Native American Proverb.

Science plays a significant role in solving society’s problems, in shaping tomorrow's solutions, in adapting to changing times and in creating a new future.  Scientific methods, tools and ways of thinking are critical in meeting today’s challenges and in fulfilling tomorrow's promises. So it is very important that scientists engage the lay public in humble dialogue to enhance all our lives.

Scientists must arrive at the point where as much value is placed on communication with the public as is currently placed on publishing specialized articles with dense jargon, read and understood by only a few specialists.

BEST Early is committed to this form of public science and to training a new generation of 'public' scientists that are comfortable communicating with both technical and 'popular' audiences.  This requires familiarity and facility with all communication media, new and old, from posters to papers, from blogs to videos, offline and online. For us public science is a multimedia strategy for communicating science and research with the general public in an accessible.

Public Science Initiatives

A hallmark of Professor Murray's chemistry classes, high school and college, is providing students opportunities to communicate scientific ideas using both technical and popular writing styles. Students are also given an opportunity to publish their work in newsprint and online media. Specific media projects include: ChemiVerses, LabTales and ChemSemBlog. The Reports & Links section provides information about issues and organizations relevant to early research participation.

In addition, partnership with the Benton Spirit Community Newspaper, has extended to early participation opportunities for Benton Harbor youth to get involved with media technology and journalism projects like Generation NX, Future Leaders Journaling Our PastAspiring Young Journalists and Taking it to the Streets.

Public science initiatives include publication of and invitation to weekly lectures in ‘ChemSem’ given by a broad diversity of guest speakers on a variety of chemistry-based/related topics. ChemSem media coverage involves frequent collaboration with Andrews Agenda, Student Movement, Benton Spirit Community Newspaper, Herald Palladium and other media outlets on topics such as women in science, high school research symposium, the role of EPA in the Gulf of Mexico BP Oil Spill Recovery, and the God Particle. ChemSem audiences often include high school students, faculty and college students from across Andrews University and community ‘lay’ persons.

Papers, Posters & Presentations

Lab Tales: Personal Stories of Early Researchers. Desmond Murray, Princella Tobias, Ginger Anderson, Wendy Bindeman, Aaron Cali, Keith Campbell, David Chavez, Charlotte Herber, Deepa Issar, Natalie King, Felicia McClary, Samantha Piszkiewicz, Javon Rabb-Lynch, Elizabeth Snyder, Michelle Stofberg, and Yusheng (Eric) Zhang. The Power and Promise of Early Research, Chapter 12, 207-245, 2016. (book chapter)

Those That Tell The Stories Rule The World – Soft Skills In A Hard Science. Desmond Murray, Andrews University Department of Communication Poster Session, November 2012. (poster)

Integrating Webinar and Blogging Technologies into Chemistry Seminar. Hamstra, D., Kemsley, J. N., Murray, D. H., Randall, D. W., J. Chem. Ed. 2011, 88, 1085-1089. (paper)