Have you ever felt like you needed an encyclopedia while reading a science article? Science is both fascinating and useful, but its high-level language and obscure subject matter can put off even readers who are very interested and committed to knowing more. As science education in the US continues to lag behind, the general public struggles to navigate scientific research; meanwhile, scientists themselves can’t always remember their lives before expertise thanks to “the curse of knowledge,” making it harder for them to communicate with laypeople. So how can scientists learn to communicate their research effectively without drowning their audience in technical terms?
Researchers at Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a program that identifies jargon, terms that non-scientists might not be familiar with, to help scientists know when they should either explain or avoid certain language in their work. The goal of the program is to increase public engagement, and to make that process easier and more rewarding all around. Called the De-Jargonizer, the free tool can be found at scienceandpublic.com.