Our Mass Media class is greatly focused on the progression of media; we debate whether or not the class likes the fast progression. But we forget that the media can be a useful tool in spreading the progression of other subjects. To be more specific, think about how science fits into adult life. After college, most people leave biology in the dust, rather they would without the media; Most adults rely on television to keep up with all the recently progressing science.
Science is constantly making strides and progress which fuels a need for consistent media coverage. Today, scientific progress stretches as far as developing bionic hands with a sense of touch. Yet a discovery does the world little good if nobody knows about it. The media gives science the outlet it needs. The media is able to get information out to the public at a remarkable rate. Even if it’s something as simple, yet important, as distributing a health warning regarding Salmonella in chicken in your home state.
The media plays a key role in keeping the general public scientifically educated. Media producers accomplish such education by having a solid understanding of their target audience. Television packages are carefully crafted as to intellectually challenge viewers, but not go overboard and confuse them. This way, the public takes away as much information as possible. This is essential, as society needs a decent amount of knowledge about current science to continue moving forward.
For the young, science programs in the media can inspire and encourage them to pursue science. Think of how many middle school classes showed their students videos of Bill Nye the Science Guy. I believe showing science as interesting, fun, and making sense has more of a positive influence on young minds than most people think. Even in college, you may not have a science credit this semester, but there are so many great podcasts that can continually keep students learning and interested. In media, one show can lead to much more; listening to an intriguing topic on the radio may lead to giving it a second look out of curiosity and may evolve as far as generating career interest.
The latest in science can be found on most any media platform. Television provides science stories on the nightly news, newspapers have science sections, radio shows like NPR have science segments with scientists as live guests, there are several science-based podcasts for on-the-go (like “Science Friday”), as well as the internet with unlimited science articles to access. Science can be found all over the media, all over the world; a powerful tool that can help people presently and inform them about discoveries that can change the future.
Many people overlook the connection between science and the media. But they push each other forward; like the discovery of radio waves, scientific discoveries are often not used as the inventor intended. In other words, through mass communication the media can aid in scientific progress (when scientists build off of others’ work). In addition, a lot of the technology science invents goes towards improving media (faster and better quality) and in return media gives scientists a voice.
Both science and media are very important to our society and their mutually beneficial relationship should be recognized.