The importance of effective science communication

Reading and understanding a scientific study is not an easy task. Science is often reserved for professionals and academics only. But the results of scientific studies should be understandable to everyone to help them make the right choices, especially regarding health and nutrition. For this reason, it is necessary to communicate science effectively and appropriately using simple and clear wording. Those trying to bring science to the masses often do this  to ensure that even people without the know-how or with a lesser level of education also understand.

One such example is an interesting initiative created by the “real food” nutritionist Diana Rodgers, co-author of the book “Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat” and a sustainability advocate. Become a Sustainavore is an innovative initiative aimed at helping people understand the most recent scientific studies  on foods that are healthy both for them and for the planet..

In this project, Diana provides easily-accessible summaries of particularly relevant studies to raise awareness of the new ongoing research on nutrition and sustainable agriculture. The aim is to highlight the study’s results and quickly guide people through it and show how the conclusions and their meaning were found. It’s almost a form of education and training supporting people to learn how to read and then understand the studies themselves, by explaining the meaning of the more scientific or difficult terminology.

For example, in the study “Plasma Amino Acid Appearance and Status of Appetite Following a Single Meal of Red Meat or a Plant-Based Meat Analog: A Randomized Crossover Clinical Trial”, Rodgers clearly outlines the goal of the research, what has been done and concluded by researchers, why it is important and the meaning of important terms used in the study.

“Essentially, the study shows that animal protein is superior to plant protein in that it provides more bioavailable protein meaning you can eat less of it to get the same amount of protein” – it states on Diana Rodgers’ website – “The researchers hypothesized as to why this is the case. The most likely reason is because of anti-nutritional factors found in plants that inhibit the digestion of nutrients. Findings like this are essential to add to the discussion about replacing meat with plant-based sources of protein. In conclusion, this is an important study with findings that call into question many of the claims made by plant-based meat companies. It shows that the plant-based meat alternatives were nutritionally inferior concerning protein in these subjects. Simple as that”.

Diana also invites visitors to share summaries with friends and family to make sure more people are informed of the latest science,  because it is important that we have all the facts when we make decisions that impact our own health.

Like Rodgers, another US-based non-profit organization founded in 1987 called the Animal Agriculture Alliance works to enhance communications on food and agriculture. , The alliance brings together farmers, ranchers, veterinarians, animal feed companies, animal health companies, processors, allied associations and others involved in getting food from the farm to our forks.

They aim to safeguard the future of animal agriculture and its value to society by bridging the communication gap between the farm and food communities. The alliance connects with key food industry stakeholders to arm them with responses to emerging issues, engaging food chain influencers and promoting consumer choice by helping them better understand modern animal agriculture. Their motto is “Connect, Engage, Protect“. And they protect farm and food communities by exposing those who threaten food security by spreading damaging misinformation.

Great work, in our opinion!