Today 200,000 People Learned That Humans Have Walked On The Moon (The Importance of STEM Communication)


Apollo 15 on the Moon.
Image credit: NASA link
Public Domain Mark 1.0

The global population as of 2018 stands at about 7.4 billion and it grows by about 1% per year. This equates to about 75 million births per year, 200,000 births per day or just over 2 births per second.

Today there are 200,000 new people on the Earth which means roughly there will also be about 200,000 young people who will learn for the first time that humans have walked on the Moon. Their lives will be changed and their horizons will be expanded.

This happens, on average, each and every day.

The possibility that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) can take people both figuratively as well as literally out of this world is an important job for science communicators.

Today, instead of learning superstitions and falsehoods young people could instead be exposed to knowledge and truth. This is the job of the many science communicators that are already out there. They can be found everywhere from book writers, to television, to radio, to podcasts, to YouTube and finally to Steemit.


Pixnio.com link CC0 license

The body of human STEM knowledge is growing by leaps and bounds every year and it is showing no signs of slowing down. The general public needs to learn at least the very basics of this body of knowledge so that they will be able to make informed decisions in both their lives as well as in their voting choices.

The primary sources for STEM communication, the science and technical journals, are far too dry, too technical and too heavily laden with jargon for the layperson to want to read. Thus it is critically important for those of us who understand their fields and the related jargon to be able to take these arcane concepts and translate them into something both readable as well as enjoyable to understand.

The consequences of failure are dire, think of the vaccine and autism scare over the past decade. Measles have been reported to making a comeback in some parts of the USA after being eliminated in the 2000 due to this misinformed and non-scientific belief . The Jenny McCarthy body count website is both satire and horrifying truth all in one place.

The website claims that 152,000 preventable illnesses and over 9,000 deaths have occurred between June 3 2007 and July 18 2015. If these calculations are true then these statistics are a sad reminder of the failure of STEM education to prevent ill-informed opinions from spreading and becoming deadly.

As well, in some parts of Africa, albinos are apparently hunted for their body parts for use in witchcraft ceremonies in the mistaken belief that this can bring sexual prowess, success and power.

Finally, It is still common for many people to deny that the Moon landings even happened and an embarrassingly large number of people still believe that the Earth is flat.


Adapted from an image taken from Joint Base Andrews link Public domain image.

How can you help?

STEM blogs, STEM podcasts, STEM vlogs and even general conversations with the people you know or meet throughout your life are the best way for the STEM trained population to continue to spread the knowledge about STEM.

Communicating difficult STEM topics to the layperson is difficult to say the least. However Richard Feynman, the famous physicist, indicated that if you cannot explain a topic simply then perhaps you don't really understand it yourself.

Voting habits are also important. Political candidates that appear to have the best intentions for education and the education curriculum need to be supported both at the ballot box as well as through donations to the candidate if that is your thing.

Universities are always in need of funding and many rely in large part on donations from their alumni to support the ongoing financial health of their institutions. If funds are specifically set aside for STEM-related programs at an educational institution then this is an even better way to donate money.


Pixabay.com link CC0 license

Closing Words

Efforts like steemstem, technology-trail, steemeducation et cetera on Steemit are an excellent way for citizen journalists to get started, to practice and to improve their STEM communication skills. Just start blogging regularly, follow the guidelines and over the weeks and months you will keep getting better as well as finding an audience.

Practice and consistency is the best thing for STEM communication.

On this planet you are one person out of 7 billion but that is the wrong way to think about it.


Pixabay.com link CC0 license

The reality is that you are someone who can reach out and communicate with a few hundred or even thousands of people over the course of your lifetime. Each of those people in turn, can reach out and communicate with hundreds to thousands of people over the course of their lifetimes.

In only a few steps one person can potentially influence millions of people out there on this planet. This means that you are really at the centre of a large communication web and with the capability of diffusing STEM knowledge outwards across the planet.

Thank you for reading my post.

Post Sources

[1] Science Communication to the General Public: Why We Need to Teach Undergraduate and Graduate Students this Skill as Part of Their Formal Scientific Training
[2] World Population - World-o-meters
[3] World Population Growth - Our World In Data
[4] Why are the measles coming back?

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Sadly, it seems clear that STEM education is largely failing with respect to the general population. Around 90% of Americans believe in some kind of god-like supernatural being, despite there being no evidence of such a being. What's worse is the wide-spread distrust of science, largely because the general public doesn't understand how it works and because we have certain news outlets intentionally misleading viewers. Lately, I've seen something even more disturbing--a number of people I know seem to think that there are no facts--only opinion. Senator Patrick Moynihan is credited with saying "Everyone is entitled to his own facts, but not his own opinion." These days many have and adhere only to opinion, and then only if it supports their own opinions.

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It is a scary development that we have to start trying to convince people that there are objective facts. I think we should start putting more of an emphasis on teaching the history of the scientific method in school, it could help people to make better decisions in areas like politics. Making it interesting and understandable for the average person is a little challenging, but doable

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The religion thing is likely always going to be one of the stickiest belief due to close link to identity and culture. I used to be quite hard line with my atheism but have mellowed with age, if someone wants to make the world a better place I'm not overly fussed what they believe happens when they die. Quite a few of my colleagues are religions and they do some of the best science out of anyone I know. I find it a little bizarre but I can attested that it doesn't get in their way. So according to pew it looks like 90% believe in a higher power but belief in a specific god has been declining (millennials are killing god!) and those that have doubts is increasing.

As for the distrust and general science knowledge I have to say I'm not sure. There is certainly a strong narrative at the moment about the whole 'my opinion beat your facts' but i'd be interested if it shows in the data, I may look into this for a post some time. As you likely know, I'm usually an optimist on issues like this but willing to accept being wrong here.

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I kinda agree with you. I suspect that people on average tend to be pessismistic and only see thenegative effects of STEM progress (pollution, thalidomide, large and impersonal technology).

I tend to be optimistic and suspect that things are slowly getting better.

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In high income countries GMO is a massive boogiemonster, which I find a real shame as has such potential for the feeding the rest of the world. Would be silly if these belief got in the way of that.



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Brilliant overview and blew me away (again) to realise those mind expanding things I learnt in science are happening each and every second all over the world 🌍 crazy!!!

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Thx for the encouraging comment blockchainyouth.

It was shocking data that 2 births in 1 second.

Stem is very necessary to know about the world.
Iam very happy that it would posted on steemit.So that we can learn from this.

It's a beautiful write up. Thumbs up @procrastilearner.