Multimedia and the Mass Communication of Science Essay

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Scientific studies are published for the scientific community. More specifically, they tend to be written with the expectation of being read by peers. This may seem obvious, and yet it shouldn't be. The style of writing that occurs when writing to peers cannot help but alienate a portion of the audience that should be informed. This also results in increasingly isolated divisions of the scientific community and widens the gaps between disciplines in terms of interests, language, and knowledge. Archaeology is one of the first fields to become dissatisfied with this division. As an area that relies upon multidisciplinary data, archaeology is uniquely positioned to understand that the world is too complex to be fully understood by any single …show more content…
Furthermore, the particular effect that a multimedia approach has on the kind of knowledge attained by a subject is especially useful to the goals of scientific studies, as it promotes critical thinking rather than simple data retention. In one study, subjects who received aural and visual explanations simultaneously, provided an average of 75% more creative solutions on problem-solving transfer tests than those who received only verbal explanations (Mayer, 1997). This is precisely the kind of response that scientific articles should elicit from their readers, regardless of their background or area of expertise.
Further, the use of information graphics allows the reader to make their own judgment about a study's conclusion. The inherent bias of a scientist involved in a study is unavoidable – the things they feel are relevant to record, the way that they tend to record them – unconsciously the reader is made to follow in the writer's footsteps. Information graphics, used appropriately, can provide the reader with a look at what actually occurred, without much of the pruning and relativity necessary in the conversion of reality to words. Even something as simple as describing a find can be immensely simplified and improved by the use of a labeled photo or illustration (see Figure

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