It is critical that the public understand what scientists do and why it matters. Generating interest is key to sustaining the research enterprise: gaining support for cutting-edge research and engaging promising students. Furthermore, although outcomes from basic research often take years, sometimes decades, to understand and fully appreciate, scientific research is directly linked to social welfare, the economy and global sustainability. Disagreement over the validity of key understandings related to complex issues such as climate and coastal concerns underscore the importance of the public understanding of science.
- Research communications help to raise the profile of WHOI as a world-class research institution, which in turn will help recruit quality scientists, engineers, and students.
- Disseminating study findings and news to people outside of WHOI about our research endeavors provides them with a better factual basis for decisions. An informed public will be better equipped to address economic and political issues related to the oceans.
- Research communications can raise awareness about the type of research, engineering, and scholarship underway at the institution. This can lead to new interdisciplinary collaborations among researchers.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to covering stories about research, engineering, and scholarship by staff and students through a wide-range of outreach venues. The Communications Office can help disseminate research findings that are relevant to the public or help investigators with conceiving and executing “broader impacts” activities.