Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.


On Being – Or Not Being – in SciComm

One of my favorite people introduced me to one of my favorite podcasts: Ologies, in which the host Alie Ward interviews a new “-ologist” weekly about their profession, how they got into it, why they’re passionate about it, and what the world should know about it.

As I’ve talked about: I love geeks. So this is a perfect show for me.

But in my head, I’m often who I still was as a kid. Aren’t we all, a bit? We keep ourselves in the stereotype boxes that we were dropped into early on. For half my life, I’ve exercised pretty strenuously several times a week, and been a professional coach in both taekwondo and CrossFit – but I rarely describe myself as athletic. I write about science and technology for a living – but inside, I’m still the English major, and that must mean I’m the opposite of science.

I think we forget to change our tapes sometimes. Certainly, at least, I do.

So I feel as though I’m almost trespassing when I get to listen in to scientists. It’s actually probably one of the reasons that I love my job: I get to talk to scientists a lot

All of which to say that I’ve followed science communicators for a while now: loving the field, being fascinated by it, thinking with awe about how interesting and valuable their work is.

I’ve only just come to an epiphany.

I might just be a science communicator myself.

When I shared this train of thought with one of my oldest friends, she was – of course – encouraging and motivational. But I could tell that she was also a little nonplussed by how excited I was. She was surprised that this had surprised me.

It doesn’t change the work I’m doing today. It doesn’t change much, perhaps, from the outside. But it changes one of those boxes I’d kept myself in, and that feels pretty momentous.

It occurs to me that I might need to check a lot of my tapes. Many of them may need changing. I wonder how many.


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