French entomologist and belletrist Jean-Henri Fabre (1820-1910), whom Charles Darwin called the ‘Homer of entomology’. Photo: Public domain
My former student Anindita Bhadra recently invited me to speak to the participants (MSc and PhD students) of a workshop on science communication that she had organised under the auspices of Cogito 137, a multilingual web-based science communication platform hosted on the IISER Kolkata web domain. I am no expert on the theory and practice of science communication (many experts spoke during the workshop) but I agreed to speak because I have one point to make.
Today, we see an increasing division of labour between scientists who are content with producing knowledge and science writers who are content with communicating this knowledge to a broad audience. We justify this separation as inevitable because science has become so complicated that scientists have neither the time nor the skill required to speak to