With every book on how things work gifted by my mother, I grew closer to my goal. I eventually joined an Applied Biosciences program for my Bachelor’s. That is when leisurely passion grew into an urgent need. I realized that academia, especially in Pakistan, was mono-directional. Although my teachers were very accomplished, the way they talked about their work repelled rather than attracted me to it. They had amazing research projects but displayed a lack of enthusiasm. This bothered me.
Around the same time, I started receiving a lot of questions from family, friends, and acquaintances about my field. Biosciences was a seemingly ambiguous concept and I would have many people ask me ‘Is this an alternative to med school? Don’t worry, you can try again!’, ‘Why are you doing this?’, ‘Does this have a scope in the future?’, and ‘Sounds like a ridiculous concept’. Why was it so difficult to grasp? Because of the lack of science communication!
The science community is so exclusively built, it seemed to lock everyone out; in fact, you are lucky if you get in! There was a tremendous gap, but nobody was bothering to bridge it! I then pitched a blog and created it with a couple of my friends who agreed to write with me. We regularly updated it with engaging posts about the latest research in the field of biology. The language was easily understandable by a layperson, and witty captions and taglines made it fun to read. It was our small but meaningful effort for science communication.
(Below: screenshots of two posts from our blog BIOSYNC Squad)
I soon outgrew that blog from my undergrad years; however, it set the foundation for a career of a lifetime. I recognized what I wanted to know and why. The little girl who loved hearing science stories from her grandmother was now ready to tell stories to the world.
Hopefully, with my story, you too found some insight into what science communication means to me, and more importantly why we need to be able to tell stories around science – because there are so many people who need us to: A young child who is hungry for knowledge, or one who is pouring over a visual book and resolving to be a doctor one day. An inspired somebody standing in a museum. An undergrad who wants just a glimpse of the beauty to find their way. Somebody who is confused about what is happening in the world of science but is too intimidated to figure it out on their own. For those who want to know, and for those who need to. To the ones who seek it and to the ones who have been driven away.
For anyone and everyone. For them and for us. We love science. We stand for science. We communicate science.