Scientists are notoriously bad about explaining what we do. In our defense, it has taken us years upon years to get to the point where we understand what we do and why it is important. Then we are asked to sum it up to someone with no background in the subject matter in three lines. It is hard. Probably one of the hardest thing scientists have to do (yes, sceintists, you HAVE to do it). Most of us have not been trained to be educators, we have been trained to study some very specific aspect of the universe in great and mind-numbing detail.
Despite this, we are not off the hook and we do need to continue to work on our outreach. Our research is really neat and exciting. The more we talk about it, the more we share it, the better we get.
I found a gem of an article in The Atlantic that talks about how “Airport security lines, it turns out, are a fantastic venue for scientists to try their hand at outreach.”
Check it out for a good chuckle.