An editorial by 17 professional societies at the FASEB Journal details the findings of a new survey on public opinion about evolution. The editorial closes by urging new approaches to public engagement, citing and echoing our Framing Science thesis at Science:
These data indicate that Americans respect the expertise of science and education professionals and also look to clergy for guidance on scientific issues of potential relevance to religion. The value of encouraging each of these groups–including scientists who hold religious beliefs–to become involved in promoting quality science education cannot be overstated. In communicating the value of science, scientists must emphasize the outcomes that matter to people–advancing medicine, improving health, fostering critical thinking–and they must do so clearly and understandably. Technical expositions on scientific topics will not get the attention of the public or policymakers who lack relevant expertise. If researchers cannot communicate their findings in ways that are comprehensible, meaningful, and relevant to non-scientists, their message to the public–and their effectiveness as spokespeople for science–is lost.