Communicate science

Handling the skeptics

Some people simply will not be persuaded about the value of your work or the validity of your findings. And that must be accepted. Everyone does not have to agree.

But others have a different idea: these are the people who are skeptical, even cynical about what you are trying to do and want to oppose you at any cost.

When the skeptic says “You don’t know what you are talking about.”

Just remind them “Actually I do know what I am talking about.”

Give specifics

  • Without my research we won’t have / we do have…
  • Our institution/lab/organization took these steps and…
  • We are now required under Section 2.3 of the government regulations…

Specifics are powerful and persuasive. Prepare them in advance.

Give your CV

  • Tell your critics why you are qualified to speak about these things, and be specific about what you have done: years of experience, publications, awards, working with teams, results, funders and so forth.

The combination of humor and self assurance can be very persuasive:

  • It can win those who are unconvinced about the arguments over to your side.