How to write a blog post…

Last night I attended a panel discussion on careers outside academia. It was run by a couple of psychology grad students, and the audience was a mix of psych, chemistry, linguistics and neuroscience majors, with me as the lone humanist.

I felt a bit awkward, a fish out of my usual pond, but by the end of the night I felt so reassured. The women in the panel (all women, all between 25 and 40, and three of them with kids!) were so obviously happy with their choices. They worked in private, public and non-profit sectors and their actual jobs were very different from each other, but they did have one big, beautiful common thread: all of them make raw research available to a broader audience.

For political decisions, policy recommendations to be based on real data and empirical research, we have to make it accessible. I would love to do that. Explaining the significance, the specialized words, the doubts and gaps in a piece of new knowledge… that would really be worthwhile.

What’s the point in filling a gap in human knowledge if nobody knows it got plugged?

Side note: the French word for popularizing something (à la Popular Mechanics’) is vulgarisation. I always get a kick out of it, because it’s so funny and so accurate. To get people interested, you have to make things ‘sexy,’ right? So, why not just say so?

More Articles →