Speaking Science-ese

This site was created by Nina Kolodij as a Master’s project for the University of Arizona under the advisement of Dr. Susan Swanberg.

Speaking Science-ese was made to do just what the title implies: encourage people to communicate about and understand science. I want to bring to light the many perspectives that play a role in science communication, and compile general opinions and experiences acquired in the field.

The project is meant to act as a resource for anybody interested in science communication. By collecting as many perspectives as possible, it is my goal to gain a better understanding of how science communication is working (or not) today, and what people’s opinions are on the subject. The question “why is science communication failing?” is not an easy one to answer. However, if more people were to discuss the issue and understand opposing points of view, perhaps the situation would improve (there’s always room for improvement, whatever your stance). In the end, I want to see and share individual perspectives of people from every stakeholder group that is involved in the research, translation, consumption and use of scientific research. Hopefully, this will contribute to ‘fixing the gap’ in science communication.

Elements will be included from four stakeholder groups: scientists, mediators (science journalists), the public, and policy influencers. Interviews and multimedia such as photographs and videos with these stakeholders will combine into a website that will consider three research questions:

R1: How do individuals in each of the stakeholder groups feel about the current state of science communication in the United States?

R2: What do individuals in each of the stakeholder groups consider to be the issues in the process of translating and communicating science?

R3: What solutions do individuals in each stakeholder group propose to ‘fix the failure’ or close the gap in science communication and the division it causes?

The Author


Nina Kolodij recently earned a Master of Arts in Science and Environmental Journalism from the University of Arizona. Her interests include science journalism and communication, historical journalism, geology, environment and conservation, photojournalism, and travel. In her spare time, she is an avid reader, artist, equestrian, and ballroom dancer.

After growing up in suburban Pennsylvania, Nina decided to explore her passions in Tucson, Arizona. She received her BS in Geology and a minor in Planetary Sciences in Spring of 2018. Upon completing her undergraduate degree, Nina decided to stay in Tucson to combine her love of science and writing in the form of a Master’s.

Although Nina’s ultimate goal for the future is to pursue a doctorate in either earth science or science communication, her main objective right now is to gain experience as a science writer. After spending time interning the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural history, Nina realized that working for an organization that shares and encourages her love of the natural world is incredibly important. Because of this, her dream job would probably involve working at a zoo, aquarium, museum, national park, or something along those lines.

“I have always been a science person, and it has become evident that communication between the scientific community and the public is suffering. I took one journalism class in my senior year and was immediately hooked. I want to work on translating tricky nuances of science and research to the world while merging my two biggest passions — science and writing.”