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A closer look at these articles, however, reveals a troubling absence of scientific rigor. Few bother to cite research or discuss studies’ methodologies or limitations. The authors seldom have scientific training.

As young scientists from four diverse fields (psychology, chemistry, physics and neuroscience), we’ve noticed that much writing about science, particularly on topics most relevant to the daily lives of readers, is currently failing to resolve the trade-off between accessibility and accountability. Rigorous findings shared by researchers in specialist journals are obscured behind jargon and paywalls, while accessible science shared on the internet is untrustworthy, unregulated and often click-bait.

If this communication crisis is due to a lack of scientifically literate voices, the solution may be for more scientists to enter the fray. Scientists have the expertise to publicly correct misinterpretations of their and others’ data. By developing new ways to disseminate science knowledge, they can help prevent inaccurate and overhyped stories from gaining traction. We argue that scientists bear a responsibility to reform the way their work is ultimately communicated.

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