The arms race of jargon: Better communication for better decision-making
We need clarity as to how research is communicated and how it is translated into widely understood policy that public administrators can describe to the widest audiences – the citizens. Only then will we build trust. Professionals take short cuts in explaining themselves and often they communicate in jargon – perhaps without intent or perhaps as a means of obfuscation. Then the politician may take this further by sloganising in a bad way. Good communication of knowledge, vision and policy and helps inform better decisions making.
Stephen Khan editor of The Conversation, a daily online paper that seeks to simplify the complex and Joanna Chataway, head of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) at UCL, London both believe that unless we connect and relate better to our audiences we are storing up deep trouble.
Stephen Khan is the Global Executive Editor of The Conversation, the news explanation and analysis website written by academic experts working in tandem with professional journalists to produce accessible, research-based content that illuminates events and discoveries as they happen. He has previously worked as news editor and staff correspondent at news outlets including The Guardian, The Independent and The Observer.
Head of the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) / Faculty of Engineering Sciences, University College London (UCL)
Joanna is Head of the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at University College London (UCL). Previously, she was Deputy Director and Professor of Science and Technology Policy at SPRU, University of Sussex.