ScienceGist, is a new platform that allows users to transcribe the abstracts of top scientific papers in simplified english. The abstract are made so accessible that anyone can understand the most complicated nuclear physics papers.
Researchers are more and more confronted with the need of explaining in simple terms their field of research and their results. This is in part because research tax-dollars are scarcer and researchers are more accountable for these public investments. But this is also because it is more widely accepted that informing and educating the public about science is part of the research’s job description. Tools like ScienceGist offer a way for researchers to communicate their science to broader audience. Image, in a perhaps not-so-distant future, one will find scientific information about toxicity of BPA, about the best diet for my baby or the latest treatments for a disease, as easily as a google search.
ScienceGist also helps researchers discover new fields. This could be particularly useful for researchers switching fields and are not yet familiar with the technical jargon. I’ve always been allergic unnecessary complexity in scientific communications. Simplification (not over-simplification) of your science will attract more people to your work, triggers more discussions, and, at the end of the day helps advance science. So bravo to ScienceGist for taking up the challenge of making scientific research accessible to all!
Science Gist is the doing of Jure Triglav, a former academia.edu employee and open science activist. He explains the idea behind ScienceGist and where this idea came from in a great first post of the ScienceGist blog.