Reframing science communication: How the use of metaphor, rhetoric, and other tools of persuasion can strengthen the public understanding of science (without weakening the integrity of the scientific process)
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This paper is about "truthiness", its resulting impact on the public understanding of science (and subsequently science policy), and why scientists need to learn how to navigate truthiness in order to ensure that the scientific body of knowledge is both preserved and shared. In order to contend with truthiness, scientists must understand and acknowledge how people receive and process information, how they form their reactions and opinions about it, and how they can be manipulated by various agencies and players to feel and think in certain ways. In order to accomplish these objectives, scientists must also understand various aspects of culture, language, psychology, neuroscience, and communication. Most importantly, scientists must recognize their own humanity, and learn how to accept and work with their own human boundaries. Truth can indeed be beauty. And, there is absolutely nothing unscientific about creating beauty in order to demonstrate and explain truth.