Communicating Cognitive Science: Improving Awareness and Understanding Among People Who are Not Ourselves


As cognitive scientists, we invest enormous amounts of time in our graduate educations and careers learning to communicate our findings to others in the form of highly specialized research papers. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how the nuance and distinctions required to advance our science, or any science, could be communicated if such were not the case. However, our work is a public enterprise that is largely sustained by institutions that promise some return to the public good. In other fields, this return may be primarily in terms of ideas and insight into the human condition, as might be the case for archaeology and history. The return may be in new discoveries regarding our physical world, such as recent progress in nanomaterials that promise eventual translation into new forms of energy, transportation, and communication. Or it may be focused on the Pasteur’s Quadrant of research addressing a practical need.

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