Science Has a Branding Problem…

Photo by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash

When people around me talk about “energy” I need to remind myself that they most often don’t use the term in the sense it is used in physics.

Otherwise I feel the temptation to correct them and explain in how many ways what they are talking about does not make sense. Because it does not make sense to me, but it makes sense to them.

This communication problem is common, as not every person attaches the same meaning to words, and some words have very specific meanings in knowledge fields where they are used.

The anti-vax movement got me thinking recently about how many people don’t trust science. I believe this is in part because science has a branding problem. The problem is that most people don’t know what science is, or how it works, so the word science only leads them to think about it like if was another belief system, in the same category as liberal, catholic, LGTB, socialist, conservative, antifa, etc. I KNOW in that list some items don’t belong, but they are all fell bundled as “what this group promotes and believes” for a large proportion of the population.

But science is not a point of view. Science is about:

  • I know this because I checked.
  • You don’t need to believe me, you can check just like I did.
  • If you find I am wrong, we can find who is right with more checking.

So believing does not play any part.

The word “science” does not naturally convey that.

So perhaps we should start calling science something else that people can more easily understand and trust. I don’t know what, perhaps “Independently Verifiable Facts” or “Most Recent Verifiable Knowledge” or “Best Solution according to Evidence”

Something that makes obvious that is not a point of view

Any Suggestions?


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Vicente Aceituno Canal

Vicente Aceituno Canal

Evidence-based cybersecurity management leader

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