I immediately learned the importance of scientific communication with an audience outside of the sciences in my LIFE STEM research class freshman year, where we were given an assignment where we had to create a presentation about a journal article, but the audience was targeted towards a general audience. This was my first experience with having to explain certain concepts in a way that we were not used to hearing in class. While I was happy with how my presentation turned out, I knew that I had to improve on explaining complicated concepts to an audience with no background knowledge.
During my Biodiversity and Conservation class, we learned more about writing to a general audience and had to read many articles before we wrote our own general audience paper. Reading examples of general audience really helped me understand ways to hook the audience while making sure they fully understood the topic.
For my last semester at Longwood in BIOL 488, we presented an elevator pitch about our research topic, which was intended to be presented to anyone, regardless of biology knowledge. This solidified my abilities to educate non-scientists about issues in the field of biology. I think this is a very important skill to have, especially when it comes to scientific community outreach. Topics and current events in science are relevant to everyone and should be easily accessible to everyone, which underscores the importance of being able to communicate in a way that the general public can understand.