Monthly Archives: August 2011

In the Pursuit of Communicating Science

Terry D. Etherton

I have  spent about 30 years  traveling down the “road” of trying to communicate  science to the public.  It has been an interesting journey.  I launched  my blog,  Terry Etherton Blog on Biotechnology, in 2006 for many reasons, including the idea of  providing science-based facts for consumers about many public discussions around food biotechnology in which activists and activist groups try to scare consumers.

During this journey, I have come to appreciate the tremendous need for scientists to become more proactive in communicating science.  Specifically, the scientific community needs to be much better at conveying what they do and how  science and technology benefit consumers.  I have written about this, most recently in Please Explain:  Training Scientists to be Better Communicators imploring scientists to get involved.

In my travels down this “road”, I have become sensitized to the issue of how is the  information I present  being “heard” by the audience.  This can be a real adventure, especially when some in the “audience” share “they don’t believe the message(s)” or messenger (i.e., me). This raises the interesting question of what to do? Continue reading In the Pursuit of Communicating Science

Food Safety – Then and Now

Terry D. Etherton

Disease outbreaks that originate from consumption of food attract great media attention, and create concerns for many in society…for good reason. The recent outbreak of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in Europe is a good example of this and the societal problems that ensue.  As of July 26, 2011, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control had reported 3900 confirmed or probable E. coli cases including 46 deaths from the recent E.coli outbreak in Europe.  The media attention that a disease outbreak like this causes is staggering!

Continue reading Food Safety – Then and Now