My favourite quotes tend to come from children’s books or from authors who write for children. One of my very favourites is from C.S. Lewis (author of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe), “Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”
Simplification (and removal of melodrama) eases comprehension considerably. One recent article delivers this ‘dial it down’ message through summarizing the progress (and ongoing challenges) in tick education and prevention for the general public. Primarily the ongoing struggle between alerting the public to the health risks posed by tick bites through education campaigns… and the discrepancy with this knowledge and awareness of risk, and actual outcome on behavior change that reduces risk of tick attachment, e.g. applying bug spray, other forms of prevention. The publication also makes the point that utilization of the ‘KISS’ (Keep it simple…) principle continues to be the best method to dispatch information between groups- in this case between the general public and tick (and tick-borne) disease researchers.
It’s a nice review on ticks and tick risk, and a great reminder for those of us within the scientific community (i.e. human and veterinary researchers/clinicians) that high priority should be placed on conveying information to the public in an easy-to-understand, succinct format, ideally with a visual component. Science communication is a very (infinitely?) important field and based on my re-read of this blog something I should probably continue to work on.
July 19, 2018
Michelle Evason, DVM, BSc, DACVIM