Why Science ISN’T Simple

But we all need to start somewhere

Science is Simple is a lie. Because science isn’t simple, is it?

If you want to work as a scientist and help solve some of the universe’s toughest problems, you need to study hard. You need to master a range of weird and wonderful mathematical methods so you can start poking around to discover new things.

And that’s really difficult – just as mastering any new pursuit is tough. For example, if you want to become a concert pianist or write a great novel, you have to start somewhere and practice endlessly to hone your craft. Science is no exception.

However, there is nothing to stop anyone picking up a pen or hitting the keys on a piano. But when it comes to science, there seems to be an invisible barrier stopping people from taking that first step.

Why is this the case? A report from the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) identifies a range of factors that could prevent people from pursuing a career in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics), including “the perceived difficulty of STEM subjects”.

The IET report states: “STEM subjects are perceived to be more difficult to achieve good grades thank in other subjects. Therefore, they are assumed to be more difficult. Such an attitude is not restricted to the students, but also perpetuated by most influencers.”

The same, tired stereotypes of socially-awkward nerds trotted out by the media certainly don’t help either, with a separate report stating: “Children are born natural scientists. Research has shown they draw less stereotypical images of scientists the younger they are and less school experience they have.”

As a science writer (and lapsed physicist), I believe there is another, complementary reason behind this misconception that science is an elitist pursuit: the language of science. To quote another report, the words we use to explain science are “tough and unfamiliar.”

Language should aid our understanding – in science, it often feels like a barrier. This needs to change.

So, I set up Science is Simple to help you understand the language of science. This site is here to show you that science is not as difficult as you’ve been led to believe.

Which is what the site should have been called – but it’s not as catchy as Science is Simple, is it?


What is Science is Simple?

At Science is Simple, our mission is to build a free, fun repository of scientific terms that is educational and accessible to all.

Each post will provide you with a simple explanation of a specific scientific term and uses our ‘three what’ structure, where we cover: what is it? So what? What else?

  • What is it? Simply begins to explain the scientific term.
  • So what? Explains the significance of this scientific field.
  • What else? Expands on the current research and interesting topics surrounding this scientific term.

Science is Simple is here to help everyone understand the language scientists use and the importance of the terms we cover.

At the bottom of each post, you’ll also find three links to sites and other sources related to the post. There’s also a short video linked to the topic in hand.

We know we can’t explain the complexities of quantum theory or relativity with one blog post – but we can start to break apart what these terms mean, and give you that first step into the world of science.

So what?

So what is the significance of Science is Simple? Well, science and technology have changed the way we work, communicate and understand the world.

Despite their increasing dominance in our day-to-day lives, there’s an alarming skills gap in science and technology. It’s a complex problem and not one that explaining a few science terms will address on its own.

But it’s a start. If Science is Simple can break down what science is saying to us, then we can start to understand it and realise science is not as difficult as you’ve been led to believe.

At Science is Simple, we want to help everyone understand science at some level – it is not scary, it is not impenetrable but is fun, interesting and surrounds us all.

What next?

Have a look around! This site will slowly be populated with posts explaining all sorts of terms from physics and astronomy. We’ve got ambitions to cover maths, technology, biology and chemistry sometime in the future too. But that’s a lot of stuff.

So, bear with us, have a read and drop us a line if you’ve got a suggestion for a post. You can leave a comment if something doesn’t make sense or if you’ve found a really cool science resource you’d like to share.

We’re also on the hunt for contributors and sponsors. So, if you’d like to write or sponsor a blog post, please email me at hello@scienceissimple.com.

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