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Healthy Communication

Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder tells Nautilus this week, “I feel like it’s part of my profession as a scientist to pass on knowledge.”…By Kevin Berger

Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder tells Nautilus this week, “I feel like it’s part of my profession as a scientist to pass on knowledge.” And Hossenfelder, in her writing and on her YouTube channel, “Science without the gobbledygook,” does so wonderfully, abjuring insular terminology for clear and logical explanations, ones that connect with the mind, heart, and funny bone.

Healthy communication is also what’s needed to relieve people of their fears and uncertainties over the COVID-19 vaccine. Neuroscientist Stuart Firestein leads a discussion on Nautilus with Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Science, and Tom Frieden, former director of the CDC and currently president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of the Global Health Organization Vital Strategies. The trio of scientists are sympathetic to people who have legitimate concerns over the vaccine and offer a host of supple insights into how public health agencies can reach the holdouts and get them to appreciate “the plain truth that vaccines against COVID are astonishingly effective and extremely safe,” says Frieden.

Also this week, astrophysicist and author and Mario Livio reaffirms our appreciation of Galileo by telling us how the great astronomer was also science’s first great advocate for popular science. Galileo showed, fearlessly, that the only way to counter superstition and suppression was communicating the truth about science and what it reveals about ourselves and nature.

Science writer Lina Zeldovich puts her skills to work to explain how scientists at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are learning to outsmart evolution and aid the development of drugs that will not fall resistant to the clever mutations of germs. And finally, we revisit our article by neuroscientist and writer Kelly Clancy on the how the power of stories can redirect our nervous system to bypass disease.


Lead image: LuckyStep / Shutterstock

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