A lot of people who would love to be professional science communicators simply can’t afford the luxury of the job. I think this sums up the problem right here when we look at the breakdown of NASA’s budget:
I am going to assume that science communication falls under “education,” which is a paltry 0.8% of NASA’s budget. If more people were excited about NASA, maybe NASA would get a bigger budget in the first place. I can’t even tell if the NIH spend a dime on communicating what it does to people:
I totally agree with you that science communication is as vital to the industry of science as anything else, including actual scientific research, and that it is actually a moral imperative. Science is one of the greatest tools humankind has developed, with the ability to cleave through myth, obfuscation, and previously frightening unknowns, but if nobody has the opportunity to be enlightened about what science tells us, is it really being utilized?
We’ve have heroes like Neil deGrasse Tyson who become celebrities and major success stories as science communicators but, for every one of him, we have who knows how many people barely scraping by, and even more serving as volunteers out of sheer love of science.
Let’s tap into those multi-billion dollar science budgets and spend more on science communication. How could it not have a hugely positive ROI?