characteristics needed to be a science communicator
Skills can be taught, but character is innate. Curiosity will get you started, but it takes a lot more than that.

Values needed to be a torchbearer of scientific knowledge

Sharing knowledge seems like it would be a very easy thing. After all, people share knowledge without much training to varying degrees of success. Look at YouTubers that specialise in tutorials, educators, parents, colleagues and literally anyone around you. We all assist others through life by sharing what knowledge we can.

If you’re serious about being a torchbearer of scientific knowledge, though, you’re likely aiming to be better than mediocre. You’re likely aiming to be the best you can be – which can be a life long journey.

A journey can be daunting. They can be fun, full of expereinces and adventures. On the other hand, they can also be full of pitfalls, danger, and trouble. Grow and use the following values you can to help you through your unique journey.

Experience

Life is full of experiences that we learn from. Learn to value all snippets of life – no matter if they are good or bad – as experiences that you can learn and grow from. Whether it’s in a science course or a customer interaction from a part time job in fast food, you can learn something. Yes, follow your passions in your favourite topics, but don’t sleep on even the mundane of life that seem less exciting. The wealth of experiences through life can help you relate to people to get information out, whether through examples or just from mere human connection.

compass, life's journey
Morals and values are your compass on life’s journey.

 

Service

To be a good torchbearer you have to remember that part of our role is a service role. We share knowledge freely, which is a service. However, with experience of working with a variety of people, we can serve with humility, curiosity, and good-natured understanding.

Just like any other service roll, though, there are many ways to approach it. There will be times of exasperation, frustration, and annoyances. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine. People will not want to listen or connect. Others will try to persuade you to be less of a good person in order to influence people for “the greater good” – which is defined by whatever those with power deem necessary for them to maintain control.

Yet, collecting, holding, and sharing knowledge is a powerful service. You have a choice how you want to serve.

Tiny piece of the journey is ours

Scientists in the past and present work hard to find the data, test things, reproduce things, and publish articles. You will as well. This does not happen in a bubble, and we build off each other and the previous research and/or communication techniques that came before us.

As a torchbearer a tiny piece of the puzzle is ours to craft, own, and pass on to the next one down the line. Often we are standing on the shoulders of giants until we become giants in our own time.

If I have seen further, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.” – Sir Isaac Newton.

Embrace the process but remember your piece is just a tiny piece of the whole story of the sciences we love and share.

The Intense Life

Life can be bland. It can also be a roller coaster. It can also be intense. The choice is really ours by daily choices and actions. However, to be successful as a torchbearer of scientific knowledge, you need to choose to be intense in your passion for your topics, your path, and the journey you are on. It will be necessary to help carry you through the darker times of the journey.

What darker times?

There will be times when you don’t feel like doing things. There will be times there will be trolls that will do everything they can to kill your vibe and bring them down to their miserable levels. There will be times when people will cruelly ridicule you instead of giving you constructive feedback and critique. There will be times of lonliness when you feel like no one understands.

Having an intense life filled with passion for what you do will help you through these times when nothing else likely will.

A word of caution from experience here: Temper the intensity born on emotion with logic and reason. It’s more stable and less draining.

Passion , journey, lead with passion
Passion can lead us nearly anywhere, good or bad. Remember to take a breath and enjoy the surroundings.

Testimony

Testimonials are not just for business products. They are also for how well a method or approach works. You need to know the science inside and out to share it well. People, especially genuinely curious children, will ask. They will challenge you until they understand it thoroughly, and you’ll infect them with the excitement. If you know your science well, you’ll do it accurately and not feed into the sphere of misinformation.

You can also make hilarious memes, comics, and any other form of entertainment that is not just fun, but accurate. But this all begins with having testimony as a value so you are never led astray into lies and fabrication.

Love

Let’s be clear on one thing: Life is full of ups and downs, and everything is not rainbows and sunshine. There will be good days, there will be bad days. Some stretches of time can be good, and some can leave you wanting to curl up and cry in frustration and want to quit. You need love.

Love for yourself, love for your science topics, love for your fellow man as they struggle to grasp what’s is coming out of your brain and out into the world.

This one is harder than you can imagine, especially when you’ve had it up to the ears with the drama of the world. And that’s when you need to love what you’re doing and have grace and tolerace for the world even more.

A place to retreat and focus, a place of quiet and privacy.

Everyone needs a place to go and reflect on life, breathe, and just be. This concept isn’t just a spiritual one. It’s one that is needed for all people to be able to just rest, unplug from the stress, pray and/or meditate, and reconnect with yourself.

This is an important point that most will not put at the top of their list. However, having this place set aside to retreat to will help every other value and pillar grow stronger. Don’t overlook it.

Purity

In a world where there is unchecked lies and corruption, where media, bloggers, and journalists are pressured to just put things out there quickly to appease an algorithm and get attention from people with short attention spans it’s easy to cut corners. Don’t.

When you cut corners, you lose credibility. It makes it difficult to maintain love for yourself and your science topics. It makes it so you are no longer of service – not that anyone would want you anyway – and your journey is corrupted. If you maintain purity of your topic, you have a chance to be more than a small person standing on the shoulders of giants and become a giant yourself.

Purity is integrity of the knowledge and data, which is what makes the torchbearer truly a cut above all the rest of the communciators. It makes you real. It makes you trustworthy. It makes you the person that holds secrets of what appears to be aesoteric knowledge.

Want to go deeper? Grab a journal prompt and see the world through your own eyes.
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Science Journal, journaling tools, teaching tools, mini science exercise

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