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3 Reasons Science Should be More Present in the Media

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

Science is the key to life. Since social media platforms are what dominate  people’s  lives on a daily basis, it’s only logical that science should always be present in it.  It would help people inform themselves and understand what’s happening in the world. You might be asking yourself why you don’t hear that much science in the news, since what is usually telecasted is hard news; politics, crimes, etc. 

Here are three reasons why it’s important to portray and include science  in the media:

  1. Fundamental knowledge and worldviews 

 Scientific professions are  necessary because they help understand life on a daily basis, give solutions to world problems, and work towards finding the answers for questions that range from topics of health and the natural world.  

It’s important to develop media coverage where the presence of scientists, science journalists and science communicators is noticeable. When this happens the audience has a fundamental understanding of  what is being explained from credible sources for two reasons: 

  • There is a specialist talking about it, so it makes the information provided  more trustworthy for them,
  • A specialist is able to  explain scientific facts that are  not easy to understand in a simpler manner.

That’s why science journalists and specialists exist: to communicate effectively what science needs to tell to a non-scientific audience, and while investigations are happening, scientists do the findings and communication specialists help them translate it for the public. It’s hand on hand work. 

People’s fundamental understanding of scientific situations going around the world helps science get more support. It also makes them aware and gives them the  opportunity to conscientize about their own beliefs.  

  1. Science education support 

The STEM system (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) plays an important role in the new generations because it helps create critical thinkers, develop new technologies, and because it’s essential to the progress of the future economy. A lot of students are deciding to go into this system. Many programs are being created to target and invite promising students into the scientific field.  

It is important to promote science education because it helps students succeed, not only in those disciplines, but in life as well since it is essential for them to take care of themselves. That’s why it is so important to support these educational systems and programs  in many aspects, including economically.

The media is key to what the audience thinks it’s important. That’s why the media can help spread what organizations and volunteer mentors are doing in the STEM system.  The media  can make this information  more accessible, inform people about the purpose behind these organizations, and invite other students to join such a great movement.

  1. Climate Change and other environmental issues

Climate change has dramatically increased in the last few years. For this reason,  it has needed more media coverage  to make humanity aware of its consequences. Organizations that research and promote climate change have tried to moderate its presence through the media.  I ask myself if the most important media or news platforms have tried enough.

I’ve discovered  a lot of environmental crises going around different countries through  Instagram posts. The fact  these posts are shared by people I follow and are posted by pages that want the world to know something that isn’t being covered says a lot. The thing is,  the posts always start by saying, “What is, or do you know what is happening at x place?” and finish  by asking to share; “Please help us let the world know what is happening”.

 This is an amazing way to take advantage of social media. It educates people about climate change and other environmental crises, but the fact that the information is almost hidden reveals that the biggest news platforms are probably avoiding covering it. This is why people begin to believe that the news is biased.  They believe that what is being broadcasted is not the complete truth. 

It’s our job to keep supporting and spreading information about science, as well as environmental issues, because it concerns our world and the future of it. Using  social media platforms to get help or to reach for bigger news media is a way to make  the voice of science present. or as we can say, of life. 

Itzel Rivera is an undergraduate student at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. She's studying Information & Journalism with the purpose of providing people the knowledge they need to educate themselves. Itzel aspires to execute her profession, values and principles in a way that it impacts society. Also, she loves lifting weights, studying and doing anything that will get her closer to her dreams!