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The science of sharing and the sharing of science
- Milkman, Katherine L., Berger, Jonah
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2014 v.111 no.Supplement 4 pp. 13642-13649
- audience assessment, communication skills, information dissemination, information exchange, scientists
- Why do members of the public share some scientific findings and not others? What can scientists do to increase the chances that their findings will be shared widely among nonscientists? To address these questions, we integrate past research on the psychological drivers of interpersonal communication with a study examining the sharing of hundreds of recent scientific discoveries. Our findings offer insights into (i) how attributes of a discovery and the way it is described impact sharing, (ii) who generates discoveries that are likely to be shared, and (iii) which types of people are most likely to share scientific discoveries. The results described here, combined with a review of recent research on interpersonal communication, suggest how scientists can frame their work to increase its dissemination. They also provide insights about which audiences may be the best targets for the diffusion of scientific content.