NSF Science & Engineering Messengers

Archive for May 2012

The Big Why State: How Science Communication Matters To Montana

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Glacier National Park. Image credit: Liz Putnam

These days it seems everybody is talking about the importance of science communication. Here in Montana, we’re joining the chorus for obvious reasons: This is a state where the message resounds in a particularly powerful way.

Our state is highly reliant on tourism—people come here to ski, to hunt, to fly fish, to visit Yellowstone and Glacier National Park and maybe see a grizzly bear (from a distance, hopefully). And it’s not just any kind of tourism—it’s tourism focused on natural beauty and the outdoors. So enter science: It’s the key to preserving these resources upon which the state economy depends.

What that means is that if we can’t get the word out about science to the public—well, that’s just bad for Montana’s future. More public communication efforts about science  aren’t just essential to the future  well-being of the U.S.—they’re vital to our state.

Consider: A more scientifically literate Montana electorate is crucial to informed policy-making regarding science-related issues like river preservation and endangered species protection. For just one example, think about the fate of the cutthroat trout, the charismatic and famed fish species beloved by fly fishermen and memorialized in movies like A River Runs Through It. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by nsfmessengers

May 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized