The Proof Is in the Public [Britt’s Thoughts]

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Before I dive into the wonderful world of conservation science that you will soon grow to love (if you don’t already, that is), I want to fill you in on some interesting discoveries that I recently made.

On a general basis, most of the amazing scientific studies researchers carry out are published in scientific journals. That’s great right?! Well, the problem arises when you consider a few of the issues below that can prevent the general public from reading the journals.

  1. Most journals (that are not open-access) require you to spend your own money to read all of the juicy information they contain. This is required in the form of some type of monthly subscription. In my opinion, this is just crazy since many conservation issues require the knowledge and help of the public to initiate change on the levels needed to make long-term differences. And if you are being asked to pay for something that you aren’t necessarily interested in knowing about in the first place, I highly doubt you are going to pay to access the valuable information in these journals.
  2. The wording and structure of these journals can seem quite overwhelming to those that aren’t in the scientific field. Even as a growing Conservation Scientist myself, there are times when I pause during my reading and think to myself – I am so lost. Again, why would such valuable information be presented in such a way that the general public is not able to understand exactly what is going on? How can anyone feel inspired to care about something they feel incapable of understanding?
  3. Even those that are able to understand the journals can find it hard to connect the content with their own lives. To me, it is important to know not only what is going on, but why should I care and how does the issue impact my life? I think the direct correlation between the content of many scientific discoveries is not made clear enough to the general public. I don’t blame people for not caring if they don’t know what to care about!

So… This is where I come in. During my research I identified a few ways to increase your ability to understand, appreciate, and feel connected to various conservation topics.

Take a look at the statistics I gathered from a group of over 170 people who responded to my thesis:

  • 85.0% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that knowing how a scientific study was important to their life increased their reading interest. 70.0% also agreed that including a “Why Should You Care” section would make them more likely to continue reading.
    • Realizing this, each entry to my site will first include a “Why Should You Care” section just for you about how the topic is relevant to your life.
  • 75.0% agreed or strongly agreed that they would be more likely to read conservation journals if they had summary versions of each entry able to be easily accessed. Additionally, 92.0% of respondents agreed that the language of scientific journals is generally intimidating and can cause them to lose interest in reading.
    • To help you maintain interest while you are reading, each entry on this site will be summarized and easily readable. All the information will remain factual and will still be taken from published journals, but I will simply sum it up for you! That solves that problem!
  • 65.0% agreed that they would enjoy having additional links provided to them that would allow them to learn more about a topic.
    • To help you learn more, I will provide you with some extra links in each post should you wish to explore some more about the topic and do some thinking for yourself.

Now that you know just what to expect from each site entry and why – I hope that you find the upcoming posts informative, understandable, applicable, and interesting. I also hope that your desire to continue reading conservation science increases with each post!

Thank you for caring. You make the difference.

One Comment on “The Proof Is in the Public [Britt’s Thoughts]

  1. Pingback: How Dogs and Farmers in South Africa Are Saving Big Cats | Why Should You Care?

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