Is there a more effective way to communicate new developments in sci/tech?
This is a question that has had me scratching my head for a while now.
I feel like the incentives often aren’t there to really give the full picture to people with little or no prior knowledge of the sci/tech topic: Those in the field doing the work want to make it seem all upside to get more funding/fame; those in the field not doing the work want to point out all the downsides that they can so that their thunder and grant money isn’t taken away; and the media both has imperfect knowledge and wants to sensationalize the development one way or another because a calm, balanced story rarely sells. This TED talk discusses some of these problems – it focuses on neuroscience, but I think it’s applicable to most fields.
The rare article that does give a balanced picture – like this one on the current quantum computer controversy – is, by necessity, longer than most people have time for if they were to read such an article on each topic they wanted information about.
There has to be a more streamlined way of communicating at least a sketch of the full picture to field outsiders, but I’m not sure what it is yet. A good start (in my mind) would be to have a way to hotlink to the data behind statements so that individuals could delve deeply if they wish. This problem just seems like something that has not yet experienced the firepower of this fully armed and operational Internet.