I first knew I wanted to apply for Charity Insights this summer around November 2014, I first knew I wanted to work at Sense About Science about 2 days later. And by Monday morning 3rd August 2015 I just really wanted to get going, to find out what exactly Sense About Science does and how I would fit in.
To give some background to Sense About Science are a “charitable trust that equips people to make sense of scientific and medical claims in public discussion“, pretty self-explanatory yes? well maybe not.
Part of the problem faced by scientists is that they are (often) not in touch with public opinion. This is also a problem for the public, they don’t know what scientists are doing and the only tool many have is the media. The media can be very bad at helping to explain science.
So what SAS try to do is bridge that gap between scientists and the public whilst also helping to combat sensationalism in the media. They achieve this through; guides on certain issues known as “Making sense of…“, responding to media misreporting through for the record, helping equip scientists to become more active in public policy, through Voice of Young Science and encouraging the public to value evidence and evidence based policy through the Ask for Evidence Campaign.
So this small office of 10 people in no small way are helping the public make sense of science, hardly an easy task.
I knew a lot of the work of SAS before I came here, having viewed the website a few times, but mainly I knew what they did through twitter, I seem to learn most things through twitter (@senseaboutsci in case you’re interested). But after my first week here what I have really come to notice is they also do so much more and I don’t think I’ll have anything remotely close to a full picture even after four weeks. And i guess that’s what I’m most excited about.